Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Security Camera Captures Tornado Slamming Pre-School Playground

Usually a week or so after a bad tornado, security camera video begins to surface of what it looked like inside the twister.  
The tornado-damaged St. Luke's United Methodist Church
in Tupelo, Miss. A dramatic security video of the tornado
hitting the church's preschool playground has surfaced.  

Nobody could safely film a tornado from such a vantage point, of course, so if the security camera stays intact during the storm, it becomes a great window into the chaos inside the tornado.

Such was the case at the St. Luke's United Methodist Church Pre-School Playground in Tupelo, Miss. when a big tornado hit on April 28.

A couple things to note in the video:

As the Capital Weather Gang points out, it's amazing how much of the playground remains somewhat intact despite being pummeled by falling trees and debris.

A worrisome detail: Right until the worst of the tornado hits, you see traffic moving along a highway in the background. I hope nobody driving was hit by the twister.

A third note: Notice after the worst of the tornado passes, things calm down a bit, but then it gets hit by more wind gusts and torrential, torrential rain. That's probably something called a rear flank downdraft. Most tornados are followed by an intense downdraft.

This downdraft feeds the air circulation in tornadoes and often helps keep them going. They can contain dangerous winds that are almost as damaging as a tornado itself.

And rear flank downdrafts don't always accompany a tornado, but they always indicate at least the potential for one. They are part of spinning supercell thunderstorms that often produce twisters.

Here's the dramatic security video from the playground. Glad no kids were there.


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