[June 24, 2003]
My wife's shot of the Manchester tornado as it was going through Manchester as a large wedge.
Please check out the above link to my wife's shot of the Manchester tornado. This is one of the most incredible shots ever captured of a tornado and shows dramatically the destructive power of these phenomena. All the bits of debris are from the homes and buildings that once stood in Manchester.
After the Woonsocket tornado dissipated, I observed two more brief tornadoes while tracking the storm toward Manchester, South Dakota. As the storm neared the town, it rapidly organized and produced a large wall cloud. The wall cloud's rotation increased rapidly and soon two large cones were on the ground and dancing around one another. The seperate vortices eventually coalesced into one very large wedge tornado that was on a direct path for the small village of Manchester. As the tornado entered Manchester it was between 1/4 and 1/2 mile wide. A shroud of debris flew up and around the tornado. It was obvious now that people's homes were being destroyed. I could only hope that those people had heeded warnings and taken shelter as the tornado bore down upon them. (For a photo of the tornado at this point, see the link to Karen's photo above.)
As I closed to within 1/2 mile of the tornado I pulled over to document it, and it's structure changed rapidly. The furious winds morphed from a menacing wedge into a tall undulating tube that reached gracefully into the sky while slowly meandering northward next to the road.
My wife Karen also has a photoblog at Open Door.
View my Spotlight images.