Yes, today we finally found a tornado – and what a tornado!

Everything looked pretty good in the morning, the first storm we were going for to seemed to have all the attributes we want: a low wall cloud, strong rotation and large hail.

We come out just in time to bring out our cameras. The storm, shortly thereafter, starts to create a funnel cloud. The funnel, however, retreats back into the cloud. At the second attempt it reaches all the way down – it is now a tornado. The tornado grows rapidly and soon becomes a few hundred meter wide beast. After a short while we end up in the path of pea-sized hail and start to regroup ourselves.

During our repositioning the hail storm grew to the order of golf balls. The car was then actually under a rain of ice balls as big as golf balls! The noise inside the car was crazy, when the hail hit the roof, windows and wind shield.

We set off to the next point where the tornado had more of a rain cloud around it which slowly rotated and simultaneously made the tornado a little bit difficult to see. We drove further out on a road that was bordered by dozens of storm watcher cars. By then the tornado was heading straight at us from the right. I wanted to stop but did not really get an approval from the tour guide :).

Finally, we positioned ourselves on a small plateau where we had a great view of how the tornado roped out – the last stage. We were lucky enough to have the sun in our backs which made the tornado completely white. A fantastic sight!

And this was just the beginning of the day…

funnel becoming a tornado
Touchdown – a narrow funnel reaches all the way down to the ground, i.e. the funnel becomes a tornado.

 

tornado wyoming
The tornado is fully developed and is surrounded by hail as shown by the greenish color around.

 

tornado tube
One can see how the tornado extends up to a tube up into the cloud

 

rainwrapped tornado
The tornado becomes enveloped in rain and becomes a bit harder to see.

 

roped out tornado
New position, tornado has begun to die out a bit, you can see how it disappears into a green hole in the sky.

 

green tornado
This sight was so beautiful that I just have to show another one taken from another angle!

 

funny looking tornado
Now we are up on the plateau and the sun is in our backs. One can see how it begins to become a lot smaller at the bottom. Check out the “smoke rings” around the top part!

 

bird with a beak tornado
The narrow part becomes larger further up and makes it look like a bird with a beak

 

Me and the tornado
Me and the tornado

 

reoped out tornado wyoming lagrange
An amazing sight. The tornado starts to rope out and spins around on its own axis.

 

tornado almost gone
10-15 minutes after it started, it dissipates. I have had a stupidly happy grin on my face all the time. The mood in the car is ecstatic!

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