Get Up Close And Personal With a Terrifying Supercell

Stormchasers in Wyoming captured footage of a beautiful supercell storm

5/18/14 Wright to Newcastle, WY Supercell Time-Lapse

Nature produces sights that are at once beautiful and terrifying. Take, for example, the stunning footage above of a supercell cloud captured the other day by storm chasers in northeastern Wyoming.

The storm was spotted and filmed by storm chasers working with Basehunters, a storm-chasing company based out of Norman, Okla. The storm was seen on the road between Wright and Newcastle, Wyo.

Despite the cloud's strong and obvious rotation, a supercell is not a tornado. Instead, it's a storm, usually a thunderstorm, built from updrafts of rising air. As the air climbs, it rotates around a central axis because, higher up in the air, the wind move in a different direction than it does down near the ground, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Though a supercell is not itself a tornado, supercell storms can sometimes produce tornadoes. They can also bring hail and high winds, making them dangerous all on their own.

Get the latest stories in your inbox every weekday.