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Wynne, Arkansas Tornado

Posted by
Jason Politte (Conway, AR, United States) on 20 July 2012 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

April 2, 2006 - Now a full-fledged tornado and magnificent to behold against the golden backdrop, it strengthened rapidly, kicking up large amounts of dust and debris as it churned east-southeast toward Wynne.

A short time after this photo, the rear flank downdraft (RFD) finally pushed around the mesocyclone and kicked up massive amounts of dust. The monster became totally shrouded and obscured from vision as it approached the northern edge of the city.

As we were no longer able to view what has happening through the dust, we made our way back north to our main east/west highway and jogged east to our next south option. It was then the Wynne tornado revealed itself as a tall, thin, and sinewy tube breathing it's last breath and roping out into nothingness . . . only a puff of dust was left hanging in the air.

The storm cycled and produced another mesocyclone and tornado in short order to our east. The dying light from the setting sun gave the tornado a ghostly appeaance as we watched it move away from us and toward the Mississippi River. Eventually darkness set in and there was nothing more to see.

For seven full years before this day, I chased relentlessly in Arkansas with very little in the way of results. Sure, chasing in the plains had been good to me on many occasions, especially with days like Manchester and Mulvane, but my results in Arkansas were always a thorn in my side considering it's my home state. This day made up for all of that.

The Wynne, Arkansas tornado received an F3 rating on the Fujita scale due to the damage it produced as it moved through the north side of Wynne. Fortunately, there were no fatalities associated with the storm.

For those who have made it this far, thank you very much for reading and have a great weekend.

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View my Spotlight images.

Tataze from Bourgogne, France

very impressive this photo, also a little scary

20 Jul 2012 5:08am

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, Canada

Simply amazing photo, and in this context looks totally magical. Superb !~

20 Jul 2012 5:37am

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Fantastique iamge quel forme ce deux nuages quel effet grandisoe.

20 Jul 2012 9:16am

Basile Pesso from Paris, City of Aminus, France

Exceptional shot, tones and composition.
A day with so much great pictures in Aminus !

20 Jul 2012 9:20am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Fantastic. You can feel the power

20 Jul 2012 9:28am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

I've said it before, I'll say it again. What a fantastic "Hobby", watching the anger, and the majesty, of nature is an awesome pastime

20 Jul 2012 9:32am

Sylvie from France

ce doit être vraiment très impressionnant !

20 Jul 2012 10:25am

SalSa from Tehran, Iran

Oh! You did courageous work.

20 Jul 2012 10:49am

Christine from Le Gosier, Guadeloupe, France

Impressionnant !

20 Jul 2012 10:59am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

A very nice conical twister, but oh so dangerous. How far away from this do you think you were?

20 Jul 2012 11:14am

@Curly: At this point, the tornado was about 2 miles to our west. Thanks Curly!

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

WOW! Stay safe out there!

20 Jul 2012 11:40am

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

Whoa! That is one scary looking twister! I hope you kept your distance! I visited your wife's blog and loved her image today.

20 Jul 2012 11:45am

Rick from Toronto, Canada

A terrible/beautiful sight, wonderfully captured and wow what a sky color! It helps to know that fatalities for this monster were zero. Thanks for sharing these, Jason. Incredible images.

20 Jul 2012 12:10pm

tataray from france, France

Wow.... terrible... mais superbe.))

20 Jul 2012 12:24pm

Kristina from Kyiv, Ukraine

I can't get over the symmetry that can be found in nature. This is so terrifyingly beautiful.

20 Jul 2012 12:28pm

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

It grows into the classic tornado shape before your eyes and the fading light gives a very eerie effect. Have a great weekend, Jason!

20 Jul 2012 12:51pm

Jules from Drayton, United Kingdom

This is fantastic Jason - makes me want to chase twisters myself

20 Jul 2012 12:56pm

Joyce from Montana, United States

whoah Jason what a fright. What an amazing capture too. I enjoy reading your adventures. We reg. folks would not know the thrill otherwise. As for disappointment in results, I sagely reply: It's all in the journey.

20 Jul 2012 1:45pm

@Joyce: Ha ha - you are correct . . . but seven years . . . that's a long time to wait to get a decent result in my home state. Although I will admit, Arkansas is the absolute most difficult state I've ever chased in. The Great Plains make chasing SOOOOOO much easier. :-))

gerard1948 from Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Fantastic, a superb image, this one is great.

20 Jul 2012 1:56pm

Universe from Tehran, Iran

Spectacular image! Well done... Good luck !!!

20 Jul 2012 2:34pm

Donna Lee Michas from New York, New York, United States

Well done. Tornadoes are 2nd only to earthquakes as my greatest fear living in New York City these days. Had never been part of the landscape until recently. The thought of countless shards of glass severing people's heads everywhere is almost unimaginable should either one hit here full force.

20 Jul 2012 3:18pm

@Donna Lee Michas: I have noticed the occasional tornado warning and report in New York in the past few years. It's certainly worth thinking about to have a plan of action in case it does happen. What you described with tornadoes is a real possibility in the larger cities of the plains. Thank you very much, Donna!

Heinz from Hamm, Germany

das sieht sehr beängstigend aus, aber was für ein Licht.

20 Jul 2012 4:43pm

Baldwin VW from Bejuma, Venezuela

Very impressive capture of this destructive monster !!! Great shot with beautiful colors ...

20 Jul 2012 5:04pm

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

A great capture of an impressive but beautiful moment, bravo !!

20 Jul 2012 5:27pm

Moein from Tehran, Iran

All the photographers in the world wishes to be here

20 Jul 2012 6:34pm

cassiel from Mexico, Mexico

awesome capture!

20 Jul 2012 6:47pm

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

Amazing description of your experience and well done on getting these great shots on the way.

20 Jul 2012 8:32pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Amazing scene and capture! Glad to hear that there were no deaths; have a great weekend!

20 Jul 2012 8:34pm

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Incredible capture of this tornado! Glad to see that you captured one in your home state. I love how it appears as a silhouette in this composition, with beautiful background colors to go with it.

20 Jul 2012 9:49pm

Martine from bousval, Belgium

Wouhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! c'est géniale ta photo mais quelle peur j'aurais eu!! bravo+++++++

20 Jul 2012 10:02pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

amazing capture!!!

20 Jul 2012 11:12pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Wow! A fantastic image. I think it would be amazing to be there to take pictures but so dangerous. Great narrative!

20 Jul 2012 11:28pm

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria


21 Jul 2012 12:05am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Unbelievable great capture !

21 Jul 2012 1:29am

Sue-Ann from Quebec, Canada

wow, stunning... beautiful colors...

21 Jul 2012 1:32am

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

I think Awesome just about covers it.

21 Jul 2012 3:49am

Othersideblue from Kerman, Iran


21 Jul 2012 3:54am

☺ ► ƸɼiϾ ◄ ☼ from Narbonne, France

owww, this is very impression, and the shot is well done, bravo

21 Jul 2012 5:29am

Saeed Rasoulof from Tehran, Iran

wow . . .
Interesting shot from mysterious & Terrible moment . . .

21 Jul 2012 8:58am

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & amazing!!!!

21 Jul 2012 3:28pm

Basile Pesso from Paris, City of Aminus, France

Deserved spotlght, congrats !

21 Jul 2012 6:14pm

@Basile Pesso: Thank you very much, Basile!

omid from mashhad, Iran

Congratulations! :)

21 Jul 2012 6:35pm

@omid: Thank you, Omid!

Alejandra :-))) from Caracas, Venezuela

Congratulations on the Color Spotlight !!!

21 Jul 2012 6:59pm

@Alejandra :-))): Thank you very much, Alejandra!

Martine from bousval, Belgium

Yesssssssssssssssssss félicitation pour ton spotlight color!!!!!!

21 Jul 2012 7:54pm

@Martine: Merci beaucoup, Martine!

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Congratulations on the Spotlight Jason!

21 Jul 2012 8:43pm

@Elaine Hancock: Thank you, Elaine!

Maria from California, United States


21 Jul 2012 9:24pm

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Back to congratulate you on your Spotlight!

21 Jul 2012 10:16pm

@Steven: Thank you very much, Steven!

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

WOW ... congratulations!

21 Jul 2012 10:30pm

@Judy aka L@dybug: Thanks Judy!

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

ANother fantastic shot! I am too afraid to stick around for photo ops.

21 Jul 2012 10:54pm

@Ruthiebear: Thanks much! Believe it or not, chasing tornadoes becomes second-nature after a while. :-)

Enzo from Lausanne, Switzerland

A great capture! Congratulations on the Spotlight!

22 Jul 2012 2:07am

@Enzo: Thank you, Enzo. :-)

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Congratulations for this awesome shot, Jason!

22 Jul 2012 4:29am

@Rick: Thank you very much Rick - I really appreciate it. :-)

rick from brisbane, Australia

Absolute 'ripper' as we say over here.

22 Jul 2012 5:27am

@rick: Thank you, Rick!

agnes from besançon, France


22 Jul 2012 6:10am

@agnes: Thank you very much!

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

Congratulations on the color spotlight!

22 Jul 2012 7:20am

@Aubélia: Thank you very much!

Lougris from Toulouse, France

fantastique image !!! bravo pour ce spotlight mérité !!

22 Jul 2012 7:47am

@Lougris: Merci beaucoup, Lougris!

Melocoton from Salamanca, Spain

congratulations, bravo

22 Jul 2012 7:59am

@Melocoton: Thank you very much!

Heinz from Hamm, Germany

Jason, Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Spotlight.

22 Jul 2012 9:41am

@Heinz: Vielen Dank, Heinz!

Grandoude from Saint Quentin en Yvelines, France

A great tornado in a tornado dream!

22 Jul 2012 9:47am

Mhelene from Paris, France

Wow ...Very impressiv and superb !!!

22 Jul 2012 3:36pm

Sue-Ann from Quebec, Canada

congrats for your color spotlight well merited...

22 Jul 2012 4:06pm

@Sue-Ann: Thank you Sue-Ann!

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Une image impressionnante!!! Félicitations pour le Color Spotlight. Bonne journée.

22 Jul 2012 5:16pm

@Tede: Merci beaucoup!

Enzo from Lausanne, Switzerland

Wow! impressionnant! Félicitations pour le Color Spotlight.

22 Jul 2012 8:21pm

@Enzo: Merci beaucoup!

Victoria from Sweden

Very nice photo!

22 Jul 2012 9:21pm

|\Mohammad/| from Tehran, Iran

Oh, great moment!
And what did you do after taking the pictures?!

23 Jul 2012 2:39am

@|\Mohammad/|: Ha ha - took more pictures and continued chasing the storm. I chased storms for 9 years, so this type of thing was what I lived for. Thanks!

Francesca from Austin, United States

Stunning shot. Storm chasing has tempted me quite a few times, and these results are inspiring! Bravo.

23 Jul 2012 8:01am

@Francesca: Thank you very much, Francesca. Looking through your photos, I bet you'd get some fantastic storm and tornado photos. If you decide to do it though, be serious about it - don't just go out on a whim. That's how people get into trouble with these supercell thunderstorms.

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, Canada

Congratulations on the spotlight, as your dangerous vocation there deserves. Such an
amazing photo, this magnificent scene really opens in ones mind as the photo apppears !~

23 Jul 2012 10:52am

@Phil Morris: Thank you very much, Phil - so glad you like it. :-)

Elsabe from Johannesburg - Fourways, South Africa

Congrats on color spotlight !!!
This is awesome - spectacular and I'm sure very scary.

23 Jul 2012 12:11pm

@Elsabe: Thank you very much!

alex centrella from California, United States

wow, incredible shot, perfect timing..

23 Jul 2012 12:30pm

@alex centrella: Thank you, Alex!

Laurette from Fourways - Johannesburg, South Africa

A amazing shot Jason. Congratulations on the Color Spotlight. Well done !

23 Jul 2012 1:12pm

@Laurette: Thank you very much, Laurette!

Doug from Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom

This is stunning Jason, an incredible image. Congratulations on a well deserved spotlight and a superb series of images

23 Jul 2012 4:03pm

@Doug: Thank you very much, Doug!

Francesca from Austin, United States

Thanks, Jason. For the compliment and the advice. :) You and your wife certainly know what you're doing.

24 Jul 2012 2:50pm

@Francesca: You're welcome, Francesca! Enjoy your travels.

LauraS from Chico, United States

oh my! Congratulations on the Spotlight, but what a tornado!

24 Jul 2012 3:45pm

@LauraS: Thank you - yes, it was quite a tornado.

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

This is terrific Jas. Why didn't they give you Spotlight for this!?!?!?

24 Jul 2012 4:25pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

OH THEY DID...That's better...sorry I just got back from Vermont!!

24 Jul 2012 4:26pm

@Denny Jump Photo: Ha ha - of, you crack me up, Denny! Thanks much. :-))

Thea from Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Fascinating shot Jason,congratulations with the spotlight !

24 Jul 2012 8:17pm

@Thea: Thank you very much, Thea!

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece

it takes your breath away*

25 Jul 2012 9:05am

@Dimitrios: Thank you, Dimitros.

franz from Baden, Austria

stupendous shot and a more than worthy spotlight! sincere congrats !!!

25 Jul 2012 6:44pm

@franz: Thank you very much, Franz!

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States


26 Jul 2012 8:45pm

@Ralph Jones: Thank you very much, Ralph.

nasrin from tabriz, Iran

woooowwww.that`s it. jusst perfect and no more word 2 say.

28 Jul 2012 6:30pm

@nasrin: Thank you very much.

Lalin from Santa Marta, Colombia

Amazing! congratulations!

29 Jul 2012 12:26am

@Lalin: Thank you.

anne fleurent from Bois-le-Roi, France

an enthusiastic picture ! congrats !!! such a monster....

29 Jul 2012 10:10am

@anne fleurent: Yes, it was - thank you!

Daryl Johnson from Worcester Park, United Kingdom

That's fantastic, what an image...

29 Jul 2012 10:54am

@Daryl Johnson: Thank you, Daryl!

Christine from MONTEREAU, France

photo très impressionnante !

30 Jul 2012 9:26am

@Christine: Merci beaucoup, Christine.

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

What an awesome and scary sight. Congratulations on the Color Spotlight!

31 Jul 2012 5:29pm

@Steve Rice: Thank you very much, Steve.

Ainsley from Derbyshire, United Kingdom

Would love to see something like this in RL let alone photograph it, I love watching the documentaries of storm chasers. I follow an american friend I met on twitter who is a professional storm chaser @mikeolbinski is his sign. Have a look at some of his work if you get chance, might inspire you further.

2 Aug 2012 1:42pm

@Ainsley: If you have the time and money, you should come to the States and go on a chase tour. I'm not affiliated with these guys in any way, but I know they're damned good at what they do. Look up either Cloud 9, Silver Lining, or Tempest Tours. You'll get your tornado. :-) Thanks, Ainsley!