Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Amazing Video of Joplin, MO Tornado

These are 2 amazing videos of the May 22, 2011 Joplin, MO tornado.

This first video is taken from a security camera in someones backyard.  First, notice how long this tornado takes to pass through.  Also consider this is only the outskirts of the tornado because these houses and most of the larger trees are still standing after the tornado passes.  Also notice how the wind is very gusty and not sustained.  In the classic clip from the movie "Twister" you can see an 18-wheeler hundreds of feet in the air being carried with the tornado.  Since a tornadoes winds are very gusty it would be hard for it to carry a large object in the air for a long period of time.  This tornado also seems to be so huge that it acts like a hurricane. There were outer bands, an eye wall, and even what seems like an eye where you can see the actual condensation cloud sweeping in and out.  Right in the middle of the video for just a few seconds its almost completely calm.  I'm also amazed by the amount of lightning inside the tornado.  I can understand that a simple thunderstorms creates enough static electricity with rain drops bouncing off each other, so throw in pieces of metal and wood and you have plenty of places for lightning to go.  This video shows the true fury of nature...I can't even begin to imagine what these people were going through when this hit.

This second video shows the tornado from either the north or western side of it.  The tornado hit between 5 and 6 PM, so its not night time here.  Although the video quality is low, its clear to see how much lightning was inside the tornado.  Also as the camera person points out, there's no thunder at all.  I actually can't figure out why that is...the wind could be strong enough to keep most of the sound of the thunder in the tornado but I don't think that's the case.  There is also a strange light in the sky toward the end of the video.  This is either "ball lightning" or a very strong updraft.  For instance when water drains out of a bath tub, there is one main spiral with other smaller spirals around it.  This could be light coming from the top of the storm which appears to be that bright compared to the pitch black clouds shadowed by the towering tops.  All in all, this tornado is probably about as bad as it gets on earth.