Beautiful video of a rotating supercell thunderstorm in Texas

A beautiful video by Mike Oblinski of a rotating supercell thunderstorm down in Texas.


Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation of a supercell:

A supercell is a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft. For this reason, these storms are sometimes referred to as rotating thunderstorms. Of the four classifications of thunderstorms (supercell, squall line, multi-cell, and single-cell), supercells are the overall least common and have the potential to be the most severe. Supercells are often isolated from other thunderstorms, and can dominate the local climate up to 32 kilometres (20 mi) away.

And here’s Oblinski explaining the remarkable video:

It took four years but I finally got it.

A rotating supercell. And not just a rotating supercell, but one with insane structure and amazing movement.

I’ve been visiting the Central Plains since 2010. Usually it’s just for a day, or three, or two…but it took until the fourth attempt to actually find what I’d been looking for. And boy did we find it.

No, there was no tornado. But that’s not really what I was after. I’m from Arizona. We don’t get structure like this. Clouds that rotate and look like alien spacecraft hanging over the Earth.

We chased this storm from the wrong side (north) and it took us going through hail and torrential rains to burst through on the south side. And when we did…this monster cloud was hanging over Texas and rotating like something out of Close Encounters….

One thing to note early on in the first part is the way the rain is coming down on the right and actually being sucked back into the rotation. Amazing.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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10 Responses to “Beautiful video of a rotating supercell thunderstorm in Texas”

  1. Unknown says:


  2. Ninong says:


  3. karmanot says:

    When I see one over Rick Perry’s house I’ll pay attention.

  4. Naja pallida says:

    Apparently some people sit there for years, waiting with a camera. :)

  5. BlueIdaho says:

    I lived in Texas for 50 years. Although it may be beautiful and awe-inspiring, but when you see this rolling on the horizon, you run like hell.

  6. BeccaM says:

    I’ve seen that particular video before. It never fails to inspire awe.

  7. Naja pallida says:

    Amazing stuff, nature never ceases to astound me.

  8. BillFromDover says:

    Nature can be so awesomely beautiful as it is destructive.

  9. lilyannerose says:

    In many ways it’s so tragic that the mentality of Texas puts people off from it. I never in my life thought I’d ever live in Texas, but I do love Austin! I’ve never lived anywhere before where I can walk across a small field on my way to the bus stop to get to work and I have this incredible field of wild flowers, being able to watch the deer when the Does are nesting with their fawns in the late spring, flocks of several types of butterflies, so many varientes of birds that I can’t count them, when coming home from work the sunsets are breathtaking, colors vibrant and the night sky just seems to vibrate. Admittedly if only the skunk would decide to wander over a few blocks if would be perfect and if only those afflicted with the disease of ignorance would take the cure and read a few books it would be the perfect place!

  10. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Space is the place.

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