Caught Inside a Twister

Getting caught in a twister is a scary situation. Granted, the tornado that Haley and I experienced was small, which was probably best for all of us. However, it got us thinking about tornado damage levels. In this short video we wanted to explain exactly how scientists classify tornados.

A brief synopsis of the event from Rob: I decided to go for a run. When I got to the top of a hill I looked at the clouds and thought,“That’s rotation in those clouds… and that looks like a tornado.” About 10 seconds after I decided to get my camera, the tornado sirens went off. I jumped in my car (good thing too because a tree came down right where it was parked). Haley and I took off to get some possible tornado action for a storm-chasing video.

In the chase we accidentally went right into the heart of it! It was intense. A tree fell in front of the car, and the power line on the side of the road came down dramatically. We caught the explosion on video just barely. It was crazy. We called up the storm chaser, and he was off chasing, too. He couldn’t believe we didn’t know about it, and it hit our neighborhood. If I had realized we were going to see this and film it for our middle grades video I would have likely 1) chosen different words when describing the action and 2) grabbed a t-shirt.  Live and learn.

Oh, sorry for the language. I rarely curse, but I could hardly help it in the midst of the chase. I tried to bleep most of it out.

From Haley: Rob summed it up well above. Sudden and scary.  There was a huge explosion just as we drove right through it.  Very exciting…but on a day like today, it was just surreal.  Once again, sorry about the language. I was frightened, and I am pretty sure you get a free pass to curse when you have to put your puppy down and then a tornado hits you in the same hour.

Here is the full video:

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

You can follow Rob Nelson

2 thoughts on “Caught Inside a Twister

  1. That was so scary!! How did ya’ll feel??? Hey Rob question for you: Is Hailey your wife or girl friend?? I just kept hearing her say “Honey” lolz

    1. Hey Bailey. Thanks for the comment. Not sure how I missed this comment originally. Yes, Haley and I are now married – we weren’t when we shot that. She used to let me do a lot of crazy things. It has changed a bit with time. 🙂

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