Thunderstorm time lapse and spectacular phenomenon with facts and information of where to witness these fascinating sights. Upward lightning, mammatus, sprites, gustnadoes and of course, tornadoes.
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A Quasi-Linear Convective System (QLCS), also known as a squall line can harbor strong straight-line winds, heavy precipitation, hail, A LOTTA lightning and possibly tornadoes… For me, squall lines often provide spectacular storm scenery and other weird phenomenon. This video highlights an array of fascinating weather along with storm relative locations of where you’re most likely to witness these beautiful sights.
Shelf clouds often form over the leading edge of linear thunderstorm outflow. Being overtaken by a shelf cloud can seem like being swallowed by a colossal whale. Inside the “Whale’s Mouth,” clouds of eerie turbulence loom overhead.
Squall lines sometimes stretch 100s of miles. This storm mode generally is not prolific at producing tornadoes as strong, cold outflow winds undercut the updraft and surge ahead of the storm as a gust front. Along the gust front is a good place to look for dust lofting eddies called gustnadoes. Transient tornadoes can suddenly develop in enhanced cyclonic convergence anywhere the QLCS is able to take in inflow near the surface. Sometimes in line kinks, embedded supercells can develop and may produce stronger rain wrapped tornadoes. Another place to look for tornadoes is in new cellular development at the tail end of the line were warm moist inflow is unimpeded by storm outflow.
The frequent lightning can provide opportunities for beautiful photography and video. Positioning behind the squall often provides a clear view of mammatus clouds, especially around sunset.
In the increasing Darkness, more and more lightning activity is revealed. In the trailing stratiform region of a QLCS is an excellent place to catch the most erratic of lightning discharges. The most prized visuals of these flashes to me is ground-to-cloud lightning or upward-moving lightning.
QLCS SPRITES and JETS
From tens of miles away, look closely for dim, red spurts of light above the QLCS. These strange electrical discharges are called Sprites. Light sensitive cameras really make sprites pop against the backdrop of stars on a dark night. To see more sprites, check out Paul Smith's youtube channel...
Additional red sprite video courtesy Paul Smith
The music is a remix of "Pillbox"... A song I wrote and published with my old band Southern Backtones.