Video of the birth of the Oklahoma tornado

Some more spectacular mostly-amateur video of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado that devastated the state yesterday. Including new video of the birth of the tornado, below.

I’ve created an animated gif of the first 5 minutes of the tornado’s birth and growth, just to get a sense of how amazingly fast this thing grew:


Growing up in the midwest, I’ve feared, and been in awe, of tornadoes since I was a kid. I lived through the famous 1967 Chicago tornado. It struck a mile from our house, and while I was only 3 1/2 years old, I do remember having to go the basement because of a bad tornado, but that’s about it.  But Lord knows, I’ve had my share of tornado warnings, growing up in Illinois.  I respect them and fear them, but damn they’re impressive beasts.

It is amazing how much more, and better, video we have of these things now that everyone (practically) has video, and good quality video, on their phones. (I’d posted other videos and photos of the Oklahoma tornado earlier, here.)

This appears to be a video of the birth of the monster tornado that caused so much damage (sadly, it was filmed by one of those people who cut your head off in photos – seriously, why are you filming the pavement?)  It’s amazing how quickly it goes from nothing to a monster – a matter of a minute or so.

Here are some screen shots showing the tornado develop over only a few minutes, and then the video:

0 seconds:


53 seconds:


1 minute 33 seconds:


2 minutes 18 seconds:


3 minutes 07 seconds:


3 minutes 33 seconds:


4 minutes 23 seconds:


5 minutes 15 seconds:


And here’s the video of the tornado’s birth:

This one is kind of neat, in addition to be completely idiotic.  The guy stuck his arm out of the cellar in order to film the tornado that was literally right over his house.  Great for science, not so great for staying alive. Video taken from half a mile away. Again, a submission for the Darwin award. If that things changes direction, you’re dead. This one says it’s a time-lapse. I’m not entirely sure what that means in this case, but the beginning of the video especially is quite interesting: These guys are “stormchasers,” but I’m not sure if that means they’re professionals. They sound a bit freaked to be pros. This is another one that is very cool, and doesn’t look terribly safe. This is an interesting video of one of the tornadoes winding down: The beginning of this video gives you a sense of just how massive this tornado really was – you also get a good sense of how often (in my experience) the sky turns green when the conditions are ripe for a tornado:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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