Lone thunderstorm visible for miles

A lone thunderstorm captured just before sunset from miles away (8:05pm CDT)

A couple of lone thunderstorms developed in the early evening hours south of Tunica and were visible from miles away as skies around them were mainly clear.  The photo above, taken from the north side of Bartlett just after 8pm CDT, shows the top of the storm as it weakens, with the sun setting to its west (photo was looking south-southwest).  The radar image below, taken about the same time as the photo, shows the location of the camera and the storm – a distance of 46 miles apart!  The flat top of the storm was at about 36,000 feet above the ground, which is why it can be seen from so far away.  In addition, the fact that it could be seen from so far away indicates that there wasn’t a lot of haze in the air.

Radar image from KNQA (Millington) at 8:01pm CDT

For those with some weather background, the 36,000-foot echo top lined up well with the forecast sounding for that time (01Z – shown below), which depicted an equilibrium level (point at which convection stops) of 37,000 feet. SBCAPE was about 1300 J/kg and MUCAPE was about 2200 J/kg.  Light southerly wind throughout the storm environment meant a very slow northward movement to the cell and very little shear kept it from getting strong.

18Z NAM forecast sounding for GNC (MS), valid 01Z

Expect to see a few more of these isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening hours over the next couple of days, but they will definitely be few and far between as high pressure brings more heat to the Mid-South!

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