A series of tornadic storms formed
in the early evening and we had to decide which one was going
to be the best one to intercept. We sat at the side of the road
and watched one storm for a long time as it tried to get better
organized but it didn't look hopeful. Over the radio we then heard
reports of another tornado warned storm to our northeast. we blasted
towards it, trying to get into a good viewing position. As we
got closer, we noticed that the original storm that we had abandoned
was starting to look really good now and at one point we could
see the base of both storms at the same time and now both had
tornado warnings issued for them.
At that point, our original storm
really started coming together and it developed a persistent funnel
near the small town of Hadar. I set up my tripod and filmed it
as the funnel slowly snaked its way towards the ground. As soon
as I saw a debris swirl on the ground, I knew that it had finally
become a full fledged tornado. The base of the storm was quite
high and it made for a dramatic image seeing the long funnel coming
down to meet the rising debris cloud. We eventually had to abandon
our position and head south due to the heavy rain which now overtaking
us. The tornado dissipated in the rain and we continued on to
Norfolk for a well deserved steak dinner.
(It's a tradition among storm
chasers that if you see a tornado, you've earned the right to
eat a steak that night.)
After reviewing the video of
this tornado, I believe that it may have been anticyclonic, spinning
clockwise. That would be rare for a tornado in the northern hemisphere.
Here is a sped up video
clip showing the possible clockwise
rotation from right to left.