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Looking for Shelf / Roll / Wall cloud images and mpegs

Hey Folks,

We're getting set to put together the 2006 SKYWARN Spotter talk here at NWS Lincoln, IL. Two big problems we'd like to address in our Basic Spotter presentation is differentiating between wall clouds and shelf clouds. Also, differentiating between the sustained rotation indicative of a mesocyclone and turbulent motions one might observe at the leading edge of a gust front and associated shelf cloud.

This past year, as relatively quiet as it was, included numerous reports of "rotation in low hanging clouds" which were most likely just ugly shelf clouds. This can be problematic when one considers the majority of our tornadoes develop from squall lines... and may not have strong precursor signatures on radar.

So, I was hoping some folks in the chaser community might help us out by providing some nice sharp images of wall clouds and especially shelf clouds that could be used to show a comparison between the two.

Even better would be mpeg clips showing wall clouds with sustained rotation, as well as shelf clouds moving overhead, and the associated turbulent motions they exhibit... often with fast moving scud clouds giving the impression of small scale rotation.

Photo credit, including name and web address (if applicable) will of course be given. Images/video do not need to be from IL.

Feel free to reply either to this thread, or send me an email ([email protected]) if you might be able to contribute. We can figure out ways of transferring images/video from there.

Thanks for your help!
-Mike Hardiman
Oh yes... almost forgot!

If our drought continues into next Spring, we will likely also be faced with columns of dust... especially those kicked up by gust fronts in the vicinity of low hanging shelf clouds... being mistaken for sfc-based circulations. This wasn't a huge problem this past year since a wet winter kept the water table charged... which helped the crops out immensely. If we stay dry this Winter in to the Spring... we might have some problems.

So, while it might be a very specific request... any photos/video of "dust column tornado look-a-likes" would also be very much appreciated.

I have plenty of footage to offer for the course... Just PM me here on StormTrack with the address and how to send you the footage (what format to send it in).
I have some pictures which would be great for your presentation.

I have pictures of:

Shelf Clouds

Turbulent Undersides of Shelf Clouds

Low Hanging Clouds with no rotation.....

Just PM me about it if your interested and I can send them your way...I'd rather you do that than just posting them here. :wink:
Hey i dont know if i have anything really good like others get but if you want some examples or stuff im sure my waverly ne chase of 05 would work...

Copyright 2005 Dan Christianson

If you want i can split the video of this and send it to you

please contact me at [email protected]
Originally posted by Mike Hardiman
So, while it might be a very specific request... any photos/video of "dust column tornado look-a-likes" would also be very much appreciated.

I've got some pics of a few tall dust devils and I might have a quicktime movie--they're common around here in eastern WA, but about the closest thing to tornadoes we get up in my corner of the US (besides cold core funnels from time to time), in terms of rotation. LOL! :wink: I've also got a picture of some little gustnadoes trying to spin up under a sup I saw in TX this summer. I'm sure other people have better ones though.
Here are some images you can use:

Roll Cloud, Dallas Texas 5/27/00

Shelf Cloud, Cocoa Beach FL summer 1986


Double roll cloud Richmond, Virginia 8/9/00


Rotating wall clouds: May 17, 2004 Russel, KS


I've got a variety of wall cloud shots on a web page devoted specifically to them, the "Wall Cloud Wall" of the SkyPix gallery:


Images on this page (and all of www.skypix.ws) may be used freely for NWS presentations without prior written consent (consider this as such consent). All non-NWS uses require separate written consent.

I've got a few more good ones from 2005 that I hope to upload sometime before the season starts, after getting a hardware problem fixed with the PC.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a photo or posted a website. I've already contacted most of you (I think) via email/P.M.... but once again, thanks for your help!

-Mike Hardiman
Mike here are a few look a likes (and real examples) I caught in central IL.


Scud funnel just south of Kankakee on May 30, 2004


Contrast enhanced pic of what appears to be scud in contact with the ground. Near El Paso, IL on July 13, 2004


Shelf cloud near Herscher IL, March 28, 2004


Non rotating wall cloud over Peoria IL, March 30, 2005


Rotating wall cloud near Jerseyville, IL, June 13, 2005 (the same storm John Farley posted a pic from).

Let me know if any of these would be useful for you and I can e-mail the full resolution shots.
Here are a couple from June 30th near Madison KS, in Greenwood county as it became tornado warned, and would later produce a few tornadoes further southeast. Very strong rotation was observed as it would make a right turn on us.



July 3rd shelf Haysville KS near Wichita.

I have more if you need any.
Here is one from a chase on October 2005 in OK...

This one was in Pratt on April 2005

This one was by Pratt Ks August 2005

I know, its not the best since i took it through the window, too much lightning to get out, but it is a very good example of a dust Plum off of the RFD.


Wall cloud with the same storm as above. The dust plum pic was taken about 20 mins. after the wall cloud pic, and also from behind.

PS, if the pics. don't show, please let me know asap.