Thursday, June 24, 2004

Now comes the barrage of unsolicited, unwanted vacation pics. Hopefully, if you can stomach it, stories of some interest may emerge. I know it'll prally just pump me up more than anyone else. Hoop-tee-dooh!

On our way down to North Carolina, we ran into some severe weather just north of Knoxville, Tennessee. The top pic shows a nice shelf cloud, which forms at the leading edge of rain-cooled, cold air spreading outward as it hits the ground.

The middle pic is one of two funnel clouds that were produced by this severe thunderstorm. However, the funnels each only lasted five seconds. They were not part of any organized rotation in the parent thunderstorm either, having formed on the gust front (an area where cold air is being pushed ahead near the surface....the funnels formed along this region where the cold air collides with the warm, moist air. Small vortices can form in this region. These vortices are non-tornadic, short in life and almost never touch down. If they do, they are known as gustnadoes, which are really cousins to actual tornadoes. Though not as powerful as supercell tornadoes, they can kill and do damage as well).

The bottom pic shows some nice contrast....the other (non-tornadic) funnel (not photographed) formed in the region above the Shell sign.

I knew this was going to be a goooooood vacation with a start like this.