MCMINNVILLE, Ore. (KOIN) — A strong thunderstorm brought heavy rain, wind, lightning, and an ominous shelf cloud to McMinnville, Ore. Tuesday afternoon. KOIN 6 News’ Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum camera caught lightning around 5:25 p.m. as the cell moved north through the evening hours.
McMinnville’s lightning strike happened just after a developing shelf cloud moved through the area.
Shelf clouds are typically associated with squall lines, or long lines of thunderstorms. They can also occur from a single cell thunderstorm. That’s what occurred with Tuesday evening’s storm. Heavy rain drags cold air from aloft, high up in the atmosphere. That cold air hits the ground and rushes in front of the storm.
As the cold air hugs the surface, it forces warm, moisture air up. That then cools and condenses the warm air. Thus, giving an ominous shelf-like shape to the moving storm. Heavy rain, wind and lightning usually follows after the shelf cloud moves through an area.