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Severe storm with rotation near Picacho Peak

I actually didn’t learn this was a severe storm until a few minutes later, but I could tell it was nasty just by looking at it. Very strong downdraft that appeared to be hail, then the dust could be seen exploding in all directions…and the base of the storm itself looked like a very tiny wall cloud in a way.

Suddenly as I’m timelapsing, I notice a curious area of rotation that looks like a funnel up in the cloud. It could have been one, or not…but I did confirm with meteorologist Royal Norman that this storm indeed had rotation on it.

You can see the back end of the cell rotating…then you can see the the funnel feature appear on the top left area of the video towards the end.

(note, a minor editing mistake on the video after the slow-mo title, gonna fix when I can)

Wishing you were a wall cloud

Most of you know I went on a stormchasing trip to Nebraska earlier this year. The reason I went was to see stuff like in the picture above. Of course, when you see stuff like that in Oklahoma, Kansas, etc., you run and hide because that’s looking like a fairly monster-sized funnel dropping to the ground.

Ah, but in Phoenix…it’s rarely that. This storm had no rotation, it was just a severe thunderstorm that had the look of something much more evil. I loved it…and was kind of glad it wasn’t a funnel, because it was coming right at me and I didn’t want to move. A glorious storm, right after this it kicked up dust under the funnel area of the cloud and suddenly a wall of dust came flying at me within a few minutes.

I ran to the car before the big dust got there, went home…watched the sky over us get darker…watched my daughter play in her first rain storm, and then we all watched from the doorway as a massive microburst engulfed our neighborhood in wind, rain and spotty hail stones. We received 1.3 inches of rain at my house in about 60 minutes. That’s an insane amount of water.

A fun storm, probably will end up being the pinnacle of the monsoon season at my house and one of the best in a few years.