When It Comes to Tornadoes, Don’t Believe Your Eyes

We have talked several times on this blog about how the Joplin tornado was invisible from the city as it approached.

While attending the National Weather Assn. meeting in Birmingham last week, I learned much more about the Cullman, Ala. tornado, a storm I had not heard much about.  So, I decided to look up some of the video on the web. There are many, but I want concentrate on this one:

The comment I want to focus on is, “its breaking up,” which is stated while this is on the screen:

The photographer makes that statement when the bottom of the funnel seems to disappear. This was likely because some dry air was ingested into the storm and caused the cloudy bottom of the funnel to briefly dissipate. However, the tornado is still extremely dangerous because, as you see, it is not only picking up objects, it is spinning out debris.

There is no correlation between the appearance of a tornado and its intensity.

Tornadoes are very dangerous and the eye is often misleading. When a tornado warning is issued, please get to shelter immediately. Don’t go outside to look at the storm as that might cost you your life. Let some other person tape it and look at the tape on YouTube when you are safe and the storm has passed.

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