When Storms Get Together: Storm Interactions and Tornado Potential

Today’s storm diagram deals with what happens when two storms get together — aka when a supercell interacts with another storm.

This storm is from June 1, 2019 just west of Roswell, New Mexico.

The situation is as follows: a storm to the south has thrown outflow northwards towards our supercell. I am making sure I keep the storm in my sights because this type of interaction has led to tornadoes many times in my career.

Especially on marginal days, storm interactions can make the difference between meh and wow!

You’ll gradually see the outflow move from left to right through the screen and as the outflow briefly interacts with our updraft the whole base lowers and spins quite rapidly. As the outflow pushes through, the storm’s base rises and the tornado threat drops quickly (and the storm promptly dies).

Three Key Takeaways

1)Never sleep on a supercell when it begins interacting with another storm.

2)The window during a storm interaction is brief and things are chaotic.

3)Oftentimes this will mean an end to tornado chances, at least short term.