Vorticity 2 Image (YouTube)
Vorticity 2 Image (YouTube)

Feast your eyes with this blanketed sky of streaming clouds as captured by master storm chaser Mike Olbinksi. Dubbed as Vorticity 2, his compilation of videos weaving a series of live time-lapse shots of swirling clouds and thunderstorms showcases seven and a half minutes of breath-taking supercell shots spanning 54 days in the making, when he encapsulated these storm clouds during the season of spring in 2018 and 2019.


Vorticity is coined from the term vortex, which refers to the rotation of air in particular in an axis. Vorticity, therefore, pertains to a vector field that provides a “platform” for dynamic fluid rotations. These fluids include water, air, and supercells, or commonly known as rotating thunderstorms, as featured in Olbinski’s stunning time-lapse video.

Vorticity 2 Image (YouTube)

Supercells: Rotating thunderstorms

A mesocylone is the signature area of rotation of a supercell, with an average of 2-6 miles in diameter, and is usually found in the right rear border of the supercell. It is responsible for the rotation of the mother thunderstorm in a vertical axis.

Supercells are the major precedents or causes of torrential rainfall, persistent lightning activities, vehement hail, and violent tornadoes.

The formation of a supercell

Convection—an occurrence where warmer liquid or air rises in a circular motion due to heat and buoyancy—serves as the main occurrence that precedes the formation of a thunderstorm, which may produce local updrafts such as cumulus clouds and downdrafts such as mountain winds.

Vorticity 2 Image (YouTube)

Thunderstorm clouds, hail, and tornadoes and other types of intense supercells are rarely, if not at all, seen in the Philippines. They are usually spotted in the central parts United States, particularly in Miami, New Orleans, Great Plains, Florida, Texas, and New York.

Follow Mike Olbinski in his blog at and subscribe to his YouTube channel to see more of his breath-taking shots on thunderstorms. Also, you may watch the live commentary and the making of the video of Vorticity 2 below.


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