Storm Cell Over Polvadera, New Mexico

September 18, 2017

Storm_cell_NewMexico_DSC_2757 (1)

September 2017 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: Colleen Gino
Summary Authors: Colleen Gino; Jim Foster

I couldn't help but notice the amazing storm cell shown above. This photo was snapped as it approached my location, near Polvadera, New Mexico, just before sunset on August 13, 2017. The clouds on the right are lit purple by a lightning strike out of the frame, while the clouds at far left are lit golden by the setting Sun. Although we have quite a bit of storm activity during the monsoon season here in New Mexico, this is one of the most impressive cells I've ever seen.

It appears from the picture that this cell may be rotating and that dust is being sucked into the storm's vortex, but this is a rain shaft, forced ground-ward by a strong downdraft. As menacing looking as this cell is, evidently no tornadoes were spawned, though, high winds and frequent lightning were widely reported.