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May 6, 2015: Tornadic Supercell & Mammatus Sunset

There is nothing quite like a sun setting and lighting up a mammatus field. It almost looks like the sky itself is on fire. And, there is only one place in the world to see sunsets this amazing, Tornado Alley!

We woke up in OKC on May 6th and sized up the forecast. We found ourselves once again faced with two possible target areas: Kansas and North Texas.

I liked Texas between the two, strong surface heating was contributing to rapid destabilization of the atmosphere ahead of a diffused dryline boundary as dew points were climbing into the mid-60s.

The only thing that I didn’t like about the day was that there was no CAP whatsoever. I choose Throckmorton as a target area.

The day played out to give us a rain-wrapped tornado in a very wet supercell. Such storms are never photogenic, but what will really make this day memorable, at least two me was the intense mammatus lingering below the anvil of the supercell that lit up like a display of fire at sunset.

We see a lot of mammatus clouds during our storm chasing tours, but this was something special. I’ve decided to make a highlight entry and I am also including a photo of the supercell’s strong updraft and base before becoming HP (high precipitation).