19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Double Rainbow Darkness

Storm chasing in The Great Plains is an exhilarating affair. In Nebraska, where this was shot, a dark, formidable thunderstorm enveloped the sky within minutes. This is not just a thunderstorm—it’s a supercell characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone, which is a strong, rotating vortex formed by rising air currents. Mammatus clouds, appeared like cotton puffs overhead, and the weather turned into a mix of hail and rain. The arc of a second rainbow can be seen ever so slightly.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Nebraska, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
Copyright: © Nathan Myhrvold