Weather Blog

Alabama tornado captured on store's surveillance video

Alabama tornado captured on store's surveillance video

Nothing can make you appreciate the power of Mother Nature than to watch a tornado go right down the street.

Surveillance video from a Walgreen store in Mobile, Ala. captured a tornado that went right by the store.

Here is that video:



There are a few things I find really fascinating (aside from the gentlemen who slowly backed away from the door -- shopping cart still in hand -- as the chaos built outside the store).

1) In watching the outside video, it's difficult to comprehend just how powerful a tornado is -- while a tornado itself isn't a solid object, when it passes it seems like a hammer comes out of nowhere and just thrashes everything in a blink of an eye.

2) On the final camera that seems trained across the doorway, you see the flashes of the power transformers, then sort of a flash of debris -- almost like a gunshot. What caught my eye was look at the damage caused in an instant to the wood door frame -- not just the stain from the stuff outside but what looks like cuts to the wood from blown debris.


On the left, the door before the tornado passes; on the right, the damaged door frame after the tornado.

This video reminds me of another incredible video from a tornado that went through Kentucky earlier this year. Also demonstrates how fast a tornado wreaks damage -- watch the trees in the background that are there one instant, and totally gone or stripped of its leaves and branches the next:



I think I'll take the 26 days of rain in Seattle, thank you very much.

Winter time tornadoes are pretty rare across the United States -- their peak time is in the spring and fall as that's when you get the battle between the cold arctic air and warm air from Gulf of Mexico. But if you get an arctic blast to reach far enough south in the winter to where it can interact with the Gulf, you can get the needed ingredients for storm development.