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It is often challenging to understand what the cloud shapes are saying, even if as a meteorologist, you are supposed to fully understand the physics.
The supercell was approaching from the northwest although I had not yet ascertained that it was indeed a supercell. The laminar flow identifying the shelf cloud revealed the heavy rain just to the northeast. As the conceptual models illustrate, the heavy rain comes down in the forward flank downdraft and the air it pulls with it, spreads out in a circular fashion at the ground. This wedge of cooler air lifts the warm and moist environmental air thus forming the shelf. The rain and hail can be seen above and behind the shelf cloud. I was fairly certain that the downdraft was separated from the updraft region of the thunderstorm thus making this a supercell. The flanking line of the supercell could be seen further to the west.
August 22nd, 2015
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