If I'm that close to a tornado, I'm not out there taking pictures.
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I saw this on The Drudge Report website the other nite...looks like a picture out of The Ten Commandments.
That photo is incredible.
Actually that may not be a tornado. See discussion here
Things to look at are the fact there is no debris and that the cloud appears smooth up and down and not turning. Great photo though.
Great photo but that isn't a tornado. Actually what you are seeing is called a "mothership" in the meteorology world which is a mesocyclone. A mesocyclone is a large area of rotation within a thunderstorm that *can* produce tornadoes, but doesn't necessarily do so. From this picture, I see no tornado and it is most likely a wall cloud. A wall cloud forms under the mesocyclone and *can* produce a tornado, but not all the time. Wall clouds can form very near the surface and appear to be a tornado when there isn't a clear view. From my personal experience, I was storm chasing in Indiana one day and I thought a wall cloud could have been a tornado until I got close enough to find it no more than 100 feet off of the ground.
Here is a link of a very low wall cloud that is sometimes wrongfully known as the "Katrina wall cloud" taken by well-known storm chaser Mike Hollingshead. Pictures 6 and 7 counting only the storm pictures and not the RADAR are very good examples of how low wall clouds can become given the correct environment.
The next link is one of the best examples of a "mothership" mesocyclone that I have seen either in person or in photographs. If you scroll down to the 2nd and the 3rd pictures on the webpage you can see why the term "mothership" is used.
On a side note, I do have a degree in meteorology and I am an active storm chaser as well. If there is some interest I would be willing to post and discuss some of my pictures and experiences.
Last edited by harangatang; 06-17-2008 at 01:49 PM.
Seriously, while the above picture is rather spectacular, the pictures on harangatang's links are breathtaking.
I've noticed Weather.com has been posting links to some rather tremendous tornado footage, most taken by security cameras. One shows the inside of a bank being hit, another showed cars being flipped in a parking lot, while another showed a house being hit almost dead on.
Awesome picture. Gives me a patriotic feeling, oddly enough. Big huge storm and the flag is just standing it's ground if you will.