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I was just digging in my photo archive and found this picture from a monster thundercloud which I took while flying over Tampa on july 5, 2003. It was on the return from a holiday in Cuba. I have travelled alot in my lifetime and seen alot of storms, but I have never seen something huge like this before.
Now I was curious if there's someone living near or in Tampa and still remembers that day, I would like to know how it must have been under such massive clouds since we don't have such extreme weather in my country and I really don't have an idea how it looks like under that cloud. I guess it is completely dark as night then?
Good pictures, Hendrik. I can't speak for what it was like under the cloud in Tampa that day but here is a picture of a storm cloud which I took from the porch of my house a few weeks ago. There was a tornado warning that day and although the tornado came within about 3 to 5 miles of my house, we never saw it. Sometimes it is much darker under those clouds than it looks in this photo.
Hendrik, I lived in Tampa for many years. For a long time you could count on daily afternoon thunderstorms. Just about could set your clock on it. They would rumble in about 3:30 pm and be gone by 6pm. The weather patterns have changed now and that doesn't happen anymore.
As for what it looks like under those clouds, dark, sometimes green aura (hail coming) sometimes pink. That is what is curious, the color of the air around you. It is like looking through green or red tinted glasses. Usually you will see the wispy, lighter colored clouds that are low in the sky and move quickly while the tops are darker. Some of those wispies from time to time are small twisters. Had two small twisters hit our neighborhood in an afternoon storm in Englewood, Fl south of Tampa. We watched them form.
But if you want to see really good storm formation go to Oklahoma. Now you can see those coming for miles.
That's just what I'm going to do: chasing thunderstorms with Cloud9 tours all over the States but with Oklahoma as base where my flights will arrive and depart too. I'm very curious to see how such storms look like in real and how it feels like to 'undergo' them. Ofcourse I hope that there won't bee too much damage and human suffering from them because they're often real monsters :( All I want to do is watch them, and take spectacular pictures.
Also getting in America worries me a bit because it seems not to be evident to get trough the douane posts as foreigner, but I'm doing my best to get all the needed documents ready.
I wish you the best Cumulus. Tornados are an awesome force. I went through one in the Texas Panhandle and again in Ala. Watched two go across the sky in Ok. and Florida. Ok. is a great place to watch them form because it is so flat and you can see them coming for miles. I hope you get your dream to ride with storm chasers. You realize this is a power you have no control over. It will humble you, after your done being scared. :)
To be honest I have seen one tornado before during a trip in Thailand (2005), I even took a picture from it . But from what I see on pictures from his American counterpart, the Thai tornado looks like peanuts.
But here's the picture though :)
Looks a lot like what hurricane Andrew did around here (for 3 to 4 hours straight), only the Brisbane storm was milder and had hail. Another difference is trees still stood in the Gap and the house they were shooting from kept its roof!