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SkyPix Tornadoes

Patricia Tornado

Patricia Tornado

This remarkable thunderstorm already had rewarded us for a very long day's drive from Oklahoma by showing spectacular supercell structures, which continued here as a nifty bell or skirt shape to the main updraft region. Normally with a supercell this high-based, carrying a nearly laminar cloud skirt with a rain-wrapped mesocyclone beneath, I wouldn't expect to see a tornado emerge within that rain and beneath the inside of the skirt. [No jokes about peeping under the skirt, please.] Experience, however, is only as good as its exceptions. The atmosphere has a way of humbling the presumptuousness of storm observers, and given that this tornado hurt nobody, I wasn't complaining about this little surprise! The cigar-shaped tornado had been underway for several minutes SE of Patricia TX, before slowly emerging within the rain, as seen from our vantage. It would rope out directly down the road, which (fortunately for drivers) curved northward and avoided the damage path.

7 NNW Lenorah TX (5 May 6) looking NNW.
(GPS)

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