Typical Supercell vs Mothership Supercell

I myself have never witnessed a supercell storm(but man, do I ever want to!). But I have heard of the beast of all beasts, the Mothership Supercell. What distinguishes this type of Supercell from your typical Supercell, if anything?
 
Mothership is simply a supercell with really darn good structure. They can be LP... Classic... or HP, although the mothership HPs tend to look the most menacing.

Aaron
 
Maybe my definition is different than most then - because I generally don't think of HP structure as a mothership, regardless of how beastly the storm may appear. I think of a very visible supercell updraft - requiring either LP or CL structure, with marked striations and clearly visible updraft from cloud base to anvil. imo, a classic mothership meso example would be the 13 June 1998 OKC supercell, which I had the priveledge to view firsthand. My perspective wasn't nearly as dramatic as Gene Moore's though, so I'd suggest visiting the link below to see what I'm suggesting. To me, it should make you wonder if you are realy looking at a cloud or a massive spaceship hovering overhead.

http://www.chaseday.com/tornado-okc-1.htm

Glen
 
June 13, 1998 was a very good example. Here are a couple of "mothership" meso pics from a different angle than Gene's:

The quality lacks, but I'm trying to rescan the photo to clean it up.
okc2.jpg


okc3.jpg
 
Yeppers! I would put that photo next to the dictionary entry for "mothership". Wow!
 
Originally posted by Aaron Kennedy
Looks like a mothership to me :p
(29 May 2001)

Aaron

It is an impressive looking storm, no doubt, but it looks 'grounded' by the rain foot - and to me this makes it less out-of-this-worldly. I want to see a 'hovering' aspect to call it a mothership - after all, isn't that supposed to be in reference to a big flying object? Once it has 'landed', it just doesn't carry the same feel imo.

Glen
 
I can see what Glen is saying. But, it's like the "eye of the beholder" idea, I don't think mothership has one exact definition, since it all depends on the person viewing it.
 
This is one was back in 2002 over Reno Co Kansas. It was taking with my old Cannon and I need to rescan it in better.

Supper_Cell_Reno_Co..JPG
 
Looks like a mothership to me :p
(29 May 2001)

Aaron

It is an impressive looking storm, no doubt, but it looks 'grounded' by the rain foot - and to me this makes it less out-of-this-worldly. I want to see a 'hovering' aspect to call it a mothership - after all, isn't that supposed to be in reference to a big flying object? Once it has 'landed', it just doesn't carry the same feel imo.

Glen

It may look grounded, but a closer inspection reveals that it is a tractor beam!

This is a photo from Crofton, NE on Aug. 16th 2002 courtesy of Dave Crowley.

verdigre1.jpg


Here is another of the same storm.

verdigre8.jpg
 
Dave C. had a terrific position on the Crosby storm, as he often does ... the view from the eastern side of the base:

8-17-02%20Crosby%20Meso2.JPG


Southern inflow feeding the updraft:

8-17-02%20Crosby%20Inflow.JPG


Vidcap of May 29, 2004 Belleville, Kansas Mothership:

Belleville%20Structure.jpg


Mike H's GRI mothership supercell from this spring is one of the best examples of how incredible and detailed this storm structure can become. A person can't help but feel pretty awed when standing in front of one of these things. A supercell isn't usually capable of producing such a well-organized structure until it becomes very mature, even "old" by some updraft standards. They often occur after the storm finishes producing tornadoes, but sometimes a tornado can and does occur simultaneously beneath a mothership base, so chasers will still stay out from underneath. It's way more fun to be back away from the base anyway, usually to the south or southwest for the best view - especially at sunset.
 
Though the striations are lacking, I love this J R Hehnly pic of the Mulvane storm:

20040612_192700_ps_std.jpg


Bob

Although I was too close to the tornadic portion of the Mulvane storm to discern much structure, the western portion of the cell was nicely striated. From what I've seen from others on this storm though, I wouldn't consider it necessarily to be a mothership in my subjective opinion.

The Mulvane storm from my vantage point:
mulvanestructurefiretruck.jpg


Jason
 
Hi Jaso - I'm following you around the board! Ooops! I left out the "N" :wink:

A "mothership" supercell is an entirely subjective description dependant on the viewer. There have been a few storms in the past that could only have been described like this (the Briscoe/Hall Co. TX storm of May 29th 2001 comes to mind) - but mostly it is subjective.

As far as purely ridiculous structure, though, not much I have personally seen beats the May 12th 2004 in Harper County KS:

May12th0421.jpg


KR
 
As far as purely ridiculous structure, though, not much I have personally seen beats the May 12th 2004 in Harper County KS:

KR

That storm did indeed have awesome structure. The northern Kansas supercell on 6-10-04 also had very classic structure, particularly during it's LP stage before it transitioned to more classic near sunset (and before producing a tornado near Red Cloud, NE).
 
I agree, June 12th, 2004 (Harper County, KS) supercell had amazing structure!!!!
It just doesn't get much better than that.


5.29.04.collage.small.version.jpg



But this is close, May 29th, 2004 West of Greenfield, OK

Simon
 
Here are mine...although not the best.

Apri 21, 2004. Just east of Shawnee, OK.
april_21_pano1.jpg




May 29, 2004 near Anthony, KS (my claim-to-fame storm)
P5290059.JPG



P5290056.JPG
 
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