No Hole in This Cloud
Jun 11, 2014
On Monday, the skies over Paris got themselves all tied up in a knot and spit out baseball-to-softball-sized hail across the Ile de France.
The supercell wall cloud at the heart of the thunderstorm is shown in this photo snapped by a commercial airline pilot whose jet passed safely by, if a little too close for comfort. The cloud grew so tall it bumped up against the tropopause–essentially, the upper boundary of the atmosphere–where it spread out flat.
This sort of weather is a common summertime phenomenon across the Great Plains in the United States, but it's rare in most other parts of the world. For the past three days, however, France has been enjoying supercell storms in all their magnificence.