Hail Shaft of a Hook
Warm-toned colors of late-afternoon sunlight tinted this hail shaft, which was part of a hook echo wrapping from left to right around an intensely rotating mesocyclone. A small rainbow segment can be seen in lighter precipitation at lower right, beneath the inner flanking towers. The supercell was moving away from us after producing hailstones over four inches in diameter in the town of Oregon MO. Given that recent history, we had no desire to "punch the core" and risk demolishing our vehicles with ice bombs, just to get back in front. Less than 10 seconds prior to this photo, a "bolt from the blue" had struck miles from the storm's rear, but within a few dozen feet of this location. Fortunately we still were in our vehicles at the time, and I jumped out very briefly for this shot before another might strike.
4 ESE Union Star MO (7 Jun 9) looking ESE