Roger's SkyPix

The Majestic Supercell

Whirling Dervish

Whirling Dervish

This storm probably never had much chance to be sharply sculpted; it was too turbulent and rotating too fast! For about half an hour, what had been a rather nondescript, high-based, marginal supercell began to spin furiously and turned sharply southeastward in classical right-moving fashion. Ragged cloud material whipped rapidly around an intense low level circulation that was tornadic at times. In fact, seconds before I took this photo, while I still was driving (of course) to find a safe pull-off, vortex filaments could be seen dancing around one another in the rain, at least two fully connected from cloud to ground. The brief, multivortex tornado may still have been active at the time of this photo, but if so, it was rain-wrapped and impossible to see. The inflow tail can be seen at right rear -- oddly, to the NNW of the circulation center. This was a 24 mm wide-angle shot; in person it seemed like half the sky was rotating. Soon the storm would choke to death on too much of its own cool outflow. The tornado itself moved through uninhabited sections of the James River bottoms and some adjacent fields, toppling a few trees but doing no major damage.

5 SE Forestburg SD (5 Jun 6) Looking SW