Today is Movie Title Wednesday and I’ve never used the same move twice in over a year doing this series. So I probably should have saved this film for next spring when I hit the road out in the Midwest and see my first tornado, but by then none of you will even remember this anyways. So I went with it today!

First off, Twister was pure awesome for weather and storm chasing nuts. Sure, it romanticized, glamorized and added all of those hollywood elements to the science of storm chasing. I know those hard core chasers who had been doing it for years probably didn’t like this movie. And maybe it wasn’t the best, but I certainly enjoyed it and whenever it’s on, I have to watch it. Not only that, but the idea they have at the end to let the probes float up into the tornado…that was way ahead of its time because just last year a vehicle started doing sort of the same thing for the first time. Pretty awesome.

Yesterday we had some dynamic weather in Arizona. There was a lot of crazy winds and instability going on, so there were severe warnings quite a few times throughout the day. My daughter and I left the house late in the afternoon and drove towards South Mountain. We spotted this little cell that had some interesting characteristics to it. You could see a sort of “spiral” shape to it as it rose into the sky.

The first picture above shows that. You can see it twisting skyward. I’d suggest clicking on each to view on black and also so it fits your screen!

This is indicative of a storm that has some rotation on it. And rotation is the first step to a mesocyclone, which CAN lead to a tornado. But that mainly happens in the Midwest, not out here very much. Still…seeing anything like this in Arizona is always a treat.

The last image below is just another shot of the cell a few minutes later. You can kind of see some spinny-ness going on, but it started dying out right when I got to it. Was kind of spooky to be right under this for a bit, but I was about 95% confident nothing would happen.

Gonna be quiet on the blog the rest of the week as I travel to New York City with the wife to get away from the hot temps of Phoenix. Of course, it’s 62 this morning and is going to be in the high 70’s tomorrow, so I guess we left just in time!

Have a great week everyone.

  • Bryan Hellman

    Great detail in the clouds! Definitely looks like rotation.

  • Case

    Cool shots, Mike!

  • Jon Stolarski

    Fantastic shots Mike. The B&W processing seems to make it more menacing.

  • A.Barlow

    wow man, looks like you are right under it. So dramatic!

  • Chris DeAngelis

    Love the detail in the clouds! So pumped about NYC!

  • Kris Koeller

    Terrific. Your series on weather is fantastic. Great work.

  • Chris Frailey

    Spooky images. Have fun in NY and tell the gang I said Hi.

  • Brian Furbush

    Great shots dude, so moody in B&W. Looking forward to seeing your ugly mug in person.

  • Jesse

    First cloud can be an image on its own. Detail is outstanding. Bring your walker, its gonna be a long weekend.

  • Josie

    My favorite part of this post is that you wrote “we” say this storm. 😉 I bet Lyla’s getting pretty good at it already! 🙂

  • Adam Olson

    Crazy awesome photos Mike! It is so dramatic! Love it!

  • Dave DiCello

    Looks like heaven is opening up here Mike, this is beautiful

  • Jan Winther

    Gorgeous shots, Mike. The first looks like it will touch down in seconds. Very cool