A drone's eye view of a powerful tornado
Monday, July 20, 2015, 8:16 AM - There's a lot to take in from this drone-shot tornado in Kansas.
Shot last week by Justin Watkins and uploaded to YouTube with no explanation, this massive twister looks ominous after touching down, but at the same time, almost nothing around it seems stormy, with bright sun clearly visible.
KSHB reports the storm that produced it brought hardly any rain, making it easily visible as it wound its way through the terrain just outside the small community of Nickerson (though the video says it was shot in nearby Hutchinson).
Tornadoes can be unbelievably powerful, and as a general rule of thumb, onlookers should get into cover when they see them, rather than filming or photographing them over any length of time. If a tornado appears not to be moving, it may be because it is actually stationary, but it is just as likely to be moving toward or away from the viewer.
KSHB says this was the only tornado observed in the U.S. that day. The National Weather Service says the storm that produced it, despite looking highly localized in the video, dropped baseball-sized hail along its path of around 8 km.
"The tornado did extensive damage to hardwood trees and destroyed an un-anchored home just northeast of Nickerson where EF-3 damage (218–266 km/h) was indicated," the U.S. agency says.