A phenomenal shot of a massive cloud Sunday near Clareton, Wyo., has been making the rounds on social media.
The photo was taken by the Basehunters storm chasers group, who are "committed to capturing the most unique and close-up tornado footage on the market," according to their Facebook page. It shows the rotating updraft of a supercell thunderstorm over eastern Wyoming, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Jon Erdman.
Supercells are the largest, strongest and longest-lasting thunderstorms. They are most common on the Great Plains. The weather system produced heavy rains and hailstones the size of baseballs.
Supercell thunderstorms are a special kind of single cell thunderstorm that can persist for many hours. They are responsible for nearly all of the significant tornadoes produced in the U.S. and for most of the hailstones larger than golf ball size. Supercells are also known to produce extreme winds and flash flooding.
Supercells are highly organized storms characterized updrafts that can attain speeds over 100 miles per hour, able to produce extremely large hail and strong and/or violent tornadoes, downdrafts that can produce damaging outflow winds in excess of 100 mph – all of which pose a high threat to life and property.
The majority of supercells fall in the “classic” category. These have large, flat updraft bases, generally has a wall cloud with it, striations or banding can been seen around the periphery of the updraft, heavy precipitation falls adjacent to the updraft with large hail likely, and have the potential for strong, long-lived tornadoes.
For more information, watch this short time lapse video of the cloud forming: