Signature of a Supercell

November Supercells

November Supercells

These satellite images show the unusual tornado outbreak that occurred on November 17, 2013. The top image captured, in false color, the height of clouds at the time when supercell thunderstorms were generating tornados in Illinois. Note the pancaking or mushrooming of the tallest clouds with feathering to the northeast and a distinct northern shadow; those are the classic anvil clouds and a signature of a supercell thunderstorm.

In the black and white image below, we see storms a few hours later. A supercell is located in western Kentucky. The setting sun highlights many tall thunderstorm clouds.

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