NIGHT Video of Tornadoes

At 10:04pm last night, I posted about the Pocahontas, Iowa, tornado(s) on the ground at that time. Click on the link if you would like to see the radar at that time.

Here is some amazing night video of the tornado(s). Here are a couple of screen captures to whet your appetite:

Power line transformer exploding, tornado at right. 
This is perhaps the best tornado video in darkness I have seen. It helps illustrate why nighttime tornadoes are so dangerous.

ADDITION Monday Evening: If you would like to learn more about the meteorology surrounding this event, click here.

Welcome Washington Post readers and thanks for the link, Jason.  Please feel free to look around the blog while you are here.


  1. It is so hard for me watching this video to separate my feelings of exuberance while seeing the power of this storm and hearing the excitement of the photographer (who probably wet his pants while filming), and the compassion I feel for the victims who lost property and maybe their lives. Nonetheless, it is an awesome thing to see the power of nature.

  2. Yes, I had a similar reaction. That said, it is documented that storm chasers called in reports to NWS to improve the warnings last night AND were the first on the scene to rescue trapped people in Mapleton, I think we can cut them some slack for their exuberance.

    I write about this dichotomy of emotions in "Warnings" in the "Nice People, But Odd" chapter (3rd chapter). If you haven't already, scroll up and read the Miracle at Mapleton posting.

  3. Mike, you know ( think I may have told you before) I saw my very first tornado right from my dining room window in this house. It will be something I will never forget. It happened close to 10:30PM one evening in May here in North Texas. ( some wonderful person had enough wits about them to record it and put it up on YouTube) The next day the NWS after their flight over the damage path said there were actually not just one tornado but 3, one after another going down the same path just about 1 1/2 miles from my house. I truly understand why this guy shooting this was so excited. I was too as I couldn't believe what I was seeing. And to actually see multiple tornadoes on one recording was really awesome. Anyway I just wanted to thank you for sharing this on your web page! So neat to see but sad for the folks in its path! Tonight will be very interesting as we see how it unfolds. Debbie

  4. Mike, this is eerily reminiscent of US183 southwest of Greensburg on 5/4/2007 e.g. watching a scary situation occurring during intermittent flashes of lightning. As Roger said on FB, it was sobering to watch how quickly things unfolded and in appreciating the dynamics that were at work in the lower atmosphere. Great video.

  5. Great video. Sad but understandable verbal reactions. Unless one has lived and worked in the alley and has suffered through what horrors tornadoes do, I guess it's too much to ask for young storm videographers to contain themselves.
    If I were king, I'd make this kid doing the videotaping ing work the next month doing the cleanup, putting down the animals that are still alive with 2x4's through them, and greeting family members as they file into the mortuary. I don't care what heat I take for this commentary, I'll stand by what I'm saying today, tomorrow and a decade from now. joel in tucson


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