June 11, 2003 Pierre, South Dakota Supercells


Simon and I (Jim) had a great chase day in the Pierre, South Dakota area. Gorgeous supercells exploded into the air after 6 pm. We did not see any tornadoes. The last supercell we saw before dark came as close as it can get to producing a tornado without actually doing it! This was followed by just about the best strobe light lighting show I've ever seen. Expect a full chase summary later...


Large wall cloud

Amazing supercell

Wall cloud just before being cut off by outflow

Supercell being undercut and killed

Below are several pictures taken of the rear flank downdraft partially occluding the low level mesocyclone. The lowered cloud base in the back is the wall cloud. You can even see a funnel cloud coming out of it in one of the photos. This particular funnel had rapid rotation associated with it, and came so close to touching the ground before quickly lifting even I couldn't believe it did not touch down!! I consider this storm the biggest tornado teaser I've ever encountered.

The tornado teaser

Beaver's tail on right half of photo






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