I-79 Tunnel: Amma, WV - May 29, 2003 - 8:30PM
LOCATION: Interstate 79 corridor near Amma, WV, 30 miles north of Charleston
CHASE VIDEO: Storm on I-79 in Roane County
A West Virginia Courtesy Patrol driver described the sight of this shelf cloud against a clear sky to the south 'like driving into a tunnel'. Indeed, most northbound travelers were probably bracing for a maelstrom as they drove toward this wall of dark clouds.
This 'shelf cloud' feature, as it is referred to, is caused by rain-cooled air surging outward from underneath a collapsing thunderstorm. Although they look very ominous and can be followed by heavy rain, gusty winds and lightning, a shelf cloud usually indicates that a storm is weakening.
Looking north at the Amma exit:
View to the east from I-79 north of Clendenin:
Looking north near Elkview:
View looking straight up:
Digital Video: Sony DCR-TRV900 3CCD MiniDV, 720x480 NTSC
Digital Camera: Fuji FinePix 4700, 2400x1800