The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Do you know that God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
-Job 37:15

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Not thinking it was a tornado... despite what the newspaper reported

I was watching a tornado video posted online by Justin, and I saw something in it that made me pause and reflect a little more about the "tornado" capture in Valdosta on Saturday, February 28th. Upon closer inspection of the camera phone shots captured by Eric Bennett, I think I have confirmed by suspicion. The spotter who reported a funnel paid attention during training.

Eric's Valdosta "tornado" is on the left, and Justin's tornado is on the right. I have had lots of discussions with people about the alleged "tornado" since I posted those shots the other day. First, from a still shot, you cannot be certain that it is a rotating column of air. In the shot, you cannot be certain that it is in contact with the ground. You can see woven in with the shot, near the base of the cloud, scud through the transparent "tornado". The shape more closely resembles a rain foot, especially when you consider these snapshots of the respective storms; however, on the left side of the shaft of Eric's shot, I am pretty sure that is a funnel cloud, which was reported. Now, in a still captured from Justin's posted video of "F5 Tornado in Elie, MB Devastates Part of Town & F3 tornado", you see a dark column just to the left of the rain shaft, which is the tornado. When considering the rain shaft appearance over tornado appearance, combined with the lack of damage on the ground, I definitely suspect rain rather than tornado. It's not uncommon to mistake something else as a tornado... here is a site dedicated to look-a-likes: Link. Now, I was not there, but I would guess that there was no tornado at mile marker 23 on I-75 in Valdosta, on Saturday, February 28, 2009.

I maintain that there was a funnel.

Have a great day,


  1. I completely agree with you, Dew, on your analysis of Valdosta picture from Feb. 28th. There is no possible way, by one still image alone, to determine if there is rotation and/or if debris is present.

  2. I love your blog/posts but usually am at a loss to comment (lack of knowledge on my part) other than to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post! Thanks for the lesson, Miss Dew.

  3. Nathan is right. That still image does not prove/disprove a tornado, but I agree with your hypothesis that it was not.

  4. I talked with the emergency manager yesterday... aside from the fact that there was absolutely no indication of a tornado on the ground, someone submitted a video of the same... no rotation. Rain swath confirmed.


Dew comment, please...