The awesome beauty and power of a tornado

This video of a tornado touching down in Laramie, Wyoming last week is awe-inspiring. I had thought that tornados start in the clouds and then touch down on the ground but in this video at the 18-second mark you see that there is also a bottom-up element, a sliver that starts on the ground and joins to the larger part coming from the top. The tightness of the funnel cloud is indicative of the massive destructive power that it can unleash for anyone and anything that has the misfortune to lie in its narrow path.


  1. johnson catman says

    At 2:10 until about 3:15 of that video, you can see what looks like horses at the end of the structure. They don’t seem to be bothered by how close that storm is to them. All I could think was “RUN!”

  2. says

    I guess you’ve never been up close and personal to one, Mano. When we first moved to nDakota, we got the fun and terror watching a small tornado bearing down on us. Fortunately, it veered, and everyone was fine. The winds which can generate on the prairie are unbelievable; you have to have the experience to understand, and that’s non-tornado winds.

    Now we live tucked in a little valley, and tornadoes skip around or over us, and I’m fine with that. Can’t say the same for all the 25 to 60mph winds though. Those we still get.

  3. Steve Cameron says

    That sliver of the funnel you see come up from the bottom is a result of the descending funnel touching down and sucking up moisture and debris. The tip of the funnel usually fades to transparency for some length as it whirls down because it hasn’t sucked the visible water vapour all the way down with it.

  4. Mano Singham says


    No, I have never actually been very close to one. A couple of times the siren went off in Cleveland, once when I was at work and once at home and we took precautionary measures but the tornado did not touch down close to us.

  5. says


    I got to see Cleveland’s “horizontal tornado” up close and personal at Edgewater Yacht Club on a Wednesday evening (race night) in August of 1995. People sheltering in the club, watching boats at dock lay down in their slips said the wind was as bad as anything they’d seen in a Florida hurricane.

    We were without power in Cleveland Heights for 10-days.


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