The Majestic Supercell
North Texas HP Stormzilla
(Part 2 of 4) After the last photo, the same storm moved off to my NE and produced a downburst. I then maneuvered the tortuous road around the E side of Lake Arrowhead, and began to penetrate what had become, once again, a thin and translucent looking rain area. In the mere 45-55 minutes it took me to do that repositioning from rear to front of the storm, it changed character and structure dramatically! A trip through that core, along the way, revealed not just rain, but heavy rain, with 1-3/8 inch hailstones measured by me. Hail up to 2 inches diameter was estimated by other spotters nearby. Once back into the inflow region, it was obvious that the former see-through underside of the storm had metamorphosed into the breed of dark, dense, ominous looking heavy-precipitation supercell for which North Texas is well known among severe storm enthusiasts. These beasts churn along, mercilessly ravaging the countryside (and sometimes the cities) with intense wind, large hail and flash flooding rains, imperiling any spotter or chaser who ventures into the mysterious murk. After experiencing several as a kid, and many more years of tangling with them on the road, I began to nickname such menacing supercells (especially in these parts) as "stormzillas". The dumb cattle had no clue of the torment they soon would endure. Despite its dense character, this storm would provide more structural surprises...
3 W Nocona TX (12 Apr 9) Looking WSW