Roger's SkyPix

Mini Cloud Atlas

Single Cell Cumulonimbus

Single Cell Cumulonimbus

The most basic form of thunderhead is the so-called "single cell" or "pulse" storm -- common in environments of weak middle and upper level flow. Inside such storms, there are actually numerous parcels of rising air; so the long-used term "single cell" is not completely true. These smallest and simplest of thunderstorms seldom last more than an hour, because their precipitation load cascades down through the updraft region, destroying them. In this aerial photo, the shoreline of the Florida Panhandle is faintly visible at lower center.

over the Gulf of Mexico S of Pensacola FL (9 Jul 97) Looking NNE