A crazy storm formed today out of the little cloud i wrote about in the convective precipitation
node. After noticing the little storm forming to the north, i went back to noding and sitting around, not expecting it to do much. But when i went outside again, it had actually backbuilt
enough to cause a bit of rain here, and there was a huge double rainbow
to the east. I wandered off again but when i next looked outside there was what seemed to be a wall cloud
forming to the east, quickly sucking in all the clouds around it. That part of the storm even may have had internal rotation, which is only found in quite severe
) Another lowered shelf-like cloud was dropping rain to the north. At this time i saw a few flashes of lightning
. A good storm is rare in this part of California
, so i thought 'what the hell' and jumped in my car to drive out of town and get a better view.
By the time i left, the storm had already passed through and was moving off to the east, but developing a lot on the north side. I followed the back end of the storm towards the north for a bit, towards the edge of town. When i turned east, I got stuck behind a car that had apparently spun off the road, and several cops. During this time i was noting that the storm was rapidly intensifying and forming an anvil to the north, as well as what seemed like some kind of flanking line to the east. It also shot out a few more bolts of lightning at this time.
As i went further north, the line seemed to have spread out, but didn't seem to be doing much more, and was moving off towards Sacramento. The sun was setting and i thought the storm would die off soon so i turned west to come home. But to my surprise, when i next looked at the storm it had what seemed like a crazy wall cloud flanked by hail shafts. By now the storm was looking really serious and it was getting dark, so i didn't try to drive under it (which sorta defeats the purpose of storm chasing anyway because the storms are prettier, and safer, from a few miles away). While driving back on an abandoned road, i saw some crazy anvil-crawling and cloud-to-ground lightning. The storm was peaking and quickly moving away to the north. At this point, in the middle of nowhere, i encountered another car in a ditch. The place was really creepy, and it was getting dark, but i peeked in the car to see if anyone seemed to be unconcious or hurt inside. I couldn't see anyone so i got the hell out of there - the place was giving off a nasty vibe or something.
At this point i headed home. But as i drove home the storm was still flashing every minute or two and had a nice anvil, turned pink by the last rays of the sun. Thunderstorms in the late winter and early spring aren't rare here but it is rare to see such an amazing one. Hopefully we will get more in 2 days when the next storm comes through.