galleries of Eric Nguyen
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Tornadoes are not always the
most sought after phenomena in storm observing, however, when they are occurring, you
can't help but go after them. Often times I'm extremely fascinated by their
structure and how quickly they evolve into very different looking tornadoes. I like
variety, so tornadoes are one of the interesting things I like to see while storm
observing. I usually try to get the structure along with the tornado, however, I'll
sometimes get close to get some debris cloud shots. I don't particularly like
chasing these things at night. So when it gets dark I usually break off the storm,
unless its behaving and is allowing a safe viewing of the updraft. This is a
collection of tornadoes that I have found to be the most fascinating and beautiful of all
of the tornadoes I've seen in my 10 years of storm observing.
- This is a
beautiful long-lived tornado that I observed near Attica, Kansas on May 29, 2004.
Notice the bottom half of the tornado is lit by the sun! This storm was struggling
for quite some time until it hit the deeper moisture, after that it was a prolific tornado
producer. This tornado moved north and then northwest, as the updraft began to
stretch into a thin column. At times the tornado would have a large debris cloud,
with the bottom half of the tornado doing some interesting movements.
A gorgeous LP to classic supercell produces a tornado near
Wanblee, South Dakota. Grapefruit sized hail fell around the tornado which was
observed by chasers very close to the tornado. Image is looking due west on June 7,
- This is a
large tornado near Argonia, Kansas on May 29, 2004. The first image is looking
southeast as we raced east to flank it. We lucked out and made it just in time to
Argonia before the tornado hit. It became a large stove pipe as it wrapped in rain
backlit by the sun. Later on it became a large barrel shaped tornado before growing
into a large wedge again. We left this tornado to pursuit another developing tornado
a half mile to our east.
An amazing display of the life cycle of a tornado that occurred
on June 9, 2005 at Hill City, Kansas. What began as a classic cone tornado developed
into a strong wedge tornado 2 miles south of Hill City, Kansas. The white car you
see in the foreground is Scott Blair whom I was chasing with that day. Once that
last image was taken, we blasted north into Hill City as the tornado curved north heading
southeast at a tornado near the town of Patricia, Texas, on May 5, 2006. This
evolved into a long thin rope as it drifted northward.
- The first
image is a weak tornado near Gunter, Texas. One hour later a second and third
tornado developed near the town of Anna, Texas. The two other images are of the
third tornado which moved into the town of Westminster, Texas. This tornado struck
at 10:30pm, killing 3 people. Despite a tornado warning issued for this storm, no
siren system existed to warn this town. Two elderly people were killed while they
slept, a third was a young man that took shelter under a staircase.
- This was a
violent tornado that developed north of Argonia, KS on May 29, 2004. This tornado
moved northward as it morphed into a wedge just as it was wrapping in rain. The
video from this tornado shows amazing motion, showing it to be a strong to violent
On June 12, 2005, a long-lived tornadic supercell developed
northwest of Jayton, Texas. These are images of three different tornadoes that
occurred on this day spanning two hours. Luckily these tornadoes occurred in rural
areas. The first tornado developed very close to the town of Spur, Texas, lasting
several minutes. The second and third images is of a strong tornado that occurred
much later, near the town of Girard, Texas. Lastly, the 6th tornado we observed that
day, was one that occurred northwest of Jayton.
- This friendly
tornado developed near Julesburg, Colorado moving into the Nebraska Panhandle as it
crossed Interstate 80. Traffic continues without hesitation until after the tornado
was north of the highway. Luckily no cars were damaged as this tornado moved
northeast on June 10, 2004. It later became a spectacular stove pipe shaped tornado.
- A high
risk day in Oklahoma and Kansas on May 8, 2003, the day I had to study for a dynamics
final! Luckily, I was able to drive 15 miles to western Moore as a tornado was just
developing a half mile from me. I shot some video and a few stills as it moved
northeast through houses and businesses. This shot shows it to my east crossing I-35
as the most debris filled tornado I've ever seen. This tornado was rated F4,
however, it luckily didn't kill anyone.
A photogenic tornado looking east near the town of Hill City,
Kansas on April 10, 2005. This was a cold core setup where storms were firing along
a sfc trough ahead of a stacked low. Hail was falling at the time which shows up as
white streaks in the image. We observed a total of 5 tornadoes that day.
This was an interesting tornado that also occurred on April 10,
2005. It was the second tornado of five that we observed that day. The view is
looking west-northwest as a weak tornado travels over the Cedar Bluff Reservoir in Kansas.
We wouldn't have know it was on the ground if we didn't see the debris cloud
crossing over the water.
- 24 hours
later from the tornado image you see above, a large tornado crossing I-35 in OKC a few
miles north of the previous days tornado track. View is looking WNW as we brace for
the RFD which has wrapped around us as we are in the bears cage. This tornado was
rated F3 and luckily this one didn't kill anyone either. These images are video
captures since it wasn't safe enough to tripod the stills.
- A very neat
looking tornado north of Interstate 80 in the Nebraska Panhandle on June 10, 2004.
This storm seemed to really get its act together just as it was beginning to produce this
tornado. Later on it had full condensation to the ground and was quite strong.
- This is the
stove pipe tornado near Big Spring, Nebraska on June 10, 2004. We were just south of
it looking northwest and north as it moved east. We quickly moved our van up the
road a few yards to get away from the power lines in case the lines went down from the
strong RFD winds. We had gusts measured at over 80 mph, so at times it was difficult
to take stills.
- This is one
of the most beautiful tornadoes I have ever seen, located near Mulvane, Kansas on June 12,
2004. We were on the west side of this tornado with a gorgeous white tornado with a
rainbow. The left image has some action to it, as you can see the streaks of hail
moving inward towards the tornado. The right image is just as the tornado crossed
the road with debris falling from the sky.
- An amazing
view of the Mulvane, KS tornado with small tubes embedded in the top region of the
tornado. This tornado damaged a business and a home, which received an F3 rating.
Luckily the occupants inside were in a basement.
- Another shot
of the Mulvane, KS tornado as it began to rope out. Even 10 minutes after the
tornado dissipated, we still had small pieces of light weight debris falling from the sky.
- This is a
small tornado touching down near Rock, KS on June 12, 2004. This time we flanked the
storm to get it backlit by the sun as well as getting some structure in the shot. I
usually try to get diverse images and this was my opportunity that day to do so. A
beautiful and friendly looking tornado!
- Can you see
it? its difficult to see tornadoes such as this unless your looking for it.
This is a thin rope tornado moving southeast from Rock, KS on June 12, 2004. It was
small enough that it didn't hit anything except for trees and power lines. This
tornado actually remained thin and lasted for several minutes.
- This is a
tornado near Atkins, Nebraska on June 9, 2003. This started out as a horizontal
funnel which slowly turned towards the ground and developed a debris cloud. This was
the first tornado of the day for us. Afterward, a second and much larger tornado
developed to our south and moved east into O'Neil, Nebraska.
are a few tornadoes from an outbreak of tornadic supercells that occurred over SE and E
South Dakota on May 24, 2003. This was our last chase of the season, so we hoped it
would count! We witnessed eleven tornadoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Our storm originally formed in far northeastern Nebraska and moved north with often times
a westward motion as it backbuilt along a northward moving boundary. We ended the
day in Sioux Falls, South Dakota as our storm hit the northern parts of the city.
A thin rope tornado moves across the country side near Driftwood,
Oklahoma, on March 21, 2005. This along with a few other tornadoes developed near
the center of a stacked low.
- Here is a
wedge tornado that rapidly developed southwest of Happy, TX, on May 5, 2002. This
tornado dissipated and a new one developed over Happy, which unfortunately killed a the
parents of a small boy. Prior to this tornado we received baseball hail and
occasional wallclouds that got undercut. This storm seemed to get very organized in
a few minute period prior to the tornado.
- This is the
second tornado that formed just west of Happy, TX, destroying some mobile homes and
unfortunately killing two people. It is just to our north moving east, drilling the
- A very
pretty tornado near Ardmore, OK, on May 6, 2001. The first shot is taken with a 28mm
lens, so the tornado is about 3/4 a mile away as it moved northwest. Notice the
updraft is completely separating from the storm and is stretching into a thin column.
There was one other tornadic supercell to our south near the Texas border.
images of one tornado that began on the outskirts of Elk City, OK. Luckily it hit
just outside of town, however it did damage some homes further east which was rated
F3. The tornado started out as a gorgeous white tornado and soon grew to almost a
wedge, lasting 30 minutes. This was one of five tornadoes I observed during this
outbreak on October 9, 2001.
tornado occurred on May 3rd 1999 and is one of many nighttime tornadoes we observed.
I believe this one is somewhere near Piedmont, OK. That day we observed eleven
separate tornadoes starting from the first one on "Storm B" to the last one near
Mulhall, OK. This is a video capture as my stills didn't turn out for this tornado.
tornado was one of over 20 on October 4, 1998 in north central Oklahoma. It touched
down just south of Watonga doing damage to some outbuildings. It then intensify and
grew wider as it quickly moved east eventually becoming an elephant trunk shaped tornado.
It was rated F2.
- Here is
a different tornado in north central Oklahoma on October 4, 1998. Although the
mesocyclone appears to be very large, only a small and weaker tornado formed near
Kingfisher, Oklahoma. This tornado was rated F1.
of these images appear in the photo book
by Mike Hollingshead
and Eric Nguyen (now available)
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