Roger's SkyPix

The Majestic Supercell

Marlow Supercell 1

Never the Same

These are two images of a single southwest Oklahoma supercell about 15 minutes apart. A supercell is a localized but intense low pressure system, and because of that, the pressure forces make it breathe, quite violently sometimes! It continually inhales an enormous volume of air from many directions below and expels much of that air above, an atmospheric combination of a vacuum cleaner and a chimney. The same air that was in a supercell 20 minutes ago is now long gone -- much of it hurled into the prevailing upper level winds as anvil material, some condensed into rain and hail that pounds the land below. All the while, the storm pulsates, expands and/or contracts, strengthens and weakens, still dependent on the moisture, temperature, wind speed and wind direction of the atmosphere around. These magnificent storms evolve always, in all ways. They may constantly adjust their width, depth, rotation strength, rain and hail output, electric fields, motion and visual appearance. Their shapes and hues change as long as they last, throughout the passing light of an afternoon and, if fortunate, well into the night with uniquely profuse lightning displays. Nothing else in the sky compares to this. I will never tire of beholding their splendor.

2 ENE Marlow, OK (17 Mar 3) Looking WNW and NW

Marlow Supercell 2