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WxBlog / 20070430A

Long narrow line of thunderstorms

These thunderstorms were notable only due to their appearance, by which I mean both their development and their characteristics as seen by radar or satellite. We only received 0.33" rain, there was brief small hail (pea size), and occasional lightning.

An extremely thin --- only one thundercell wide for the first couple of hours --- and eventually quite long line of thunderstorms developed virtually out of clear air in less than two hours. As time passed, the nearly stationary line of thunderstorms filled in and expanded slowly before finally kicking off to the north and east. Though the line was stationary, the individual cells raced along that line.

The first image, at 10:15, shows the beautiful, virtually cloud-free morning over northeastern Indiana, with a prominent line of clouds from southern Wisconsin, across Lake Michigan and through southern Michigan, then across northern Ohio.

The second image, only fifteen minutes later, shows the pencil thin line of clouds (almost like a jet contrail) beginning to develop within a broader area of scattered clouds, nearly parallel to that prominent line of clouds.

The third image, another fifteen minutes later, shows that pencil thin line growing in length and the lower clouds expanding and filling in.

In the fourth image, at 11:15, an area of thunderstorms over southern Wisconsin has moved into the picture. The original prominent line of clouds is beginning to dissipate, virtually gone over Lake Michigan and western Michigan.

In the fifth image, an hour later, the big area of thunderstorms has reached the western shore of Lake Michigan, and that pencil thin line of clouds across northeastern Indiana has matured rapidly, though it has not moved.

In the sixth image, only fifteen minutes later, thunderstorms have erupted within that virtually stationary line of clouds across northeastern Indiana, and rain begins to fall on my weather station.

10:15
10:15
10:32
10:32
10:45
10:45
11:15
11:15
12:15
12:15
12:32
12:32


Click on any image to go to the full article, containing full-size versions of these images, an animation of nearly six hours of satellite images, and a radar loop of the genesis of that line of thunderstorms.

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awc 2007-04-30 22:37, updated 2007-05-03 15:49
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