This is what a wall cloud looks like as it's just starting to drop. Isn't this a pretty picture all by itself? I'm looking East at this point.
Here's a good wall cloud picture.
After a while, the thing moved to my South and then dropped a funnel cloud - hence the different looking shot here. It moved away before dropping this tornado. This is what a funnel cloud looks like.
Tornado on the ground.
So, that was awesome.
What, you're not satisfied?
Your expectations of me are higher than that?
Okay, you're right. That was the SECOND and much more lame tornado that this storm dropped. Here's the first one.
When I first got into Mulvane, this huge freaking storm cell was rotating counterclockwise. The ENTIRE THING was rotating. It was scary, thrilling, exciting, I was shaky and my adrenaline was pumping.
I called Tandra and said "Baby, everything is good, I'm okay, and I'm about to see a tornado."
Sure enough, not five minutes later, this happened. This is what a real, well-defined funnel cloud actually looks like. The white specks are hail.
The hail was noisy, but there wasn't much rain and the wind was pretty still. You can see from the angle of the hail falling how little wind there was.
Once it touched down (right about two miles away from where I was), I forgot to be scared and shaky and I suddenly got very calm. It was cool. Dig all the hail on the ground. It got up to about golf ball size or a little bigger, but most of the hail I encountered was quarter size or smaller.
It continued to grow and gather strength:
Then it popped back up a little bit and started moving away. There was still damaging rotation on the ground at this point even though you can't see it. What you can see right at the tip of the funnel cloud is one of those big-ass golf ball size hailstones. They were big enough that I could visually pick them up well before they hit the ground and I could watch them bounce off the ground or explode on the asphalt. Also, note the rainbow.
It started moving, so I did too.
I gave chase (don't you love the rainbow in the shot? It was utterly spectacular to see in person.):
More hail. Lots more hail. At this point a ridiculously strong wind was sweeping across the field from what I thought was left to right, but looking at the hail it must have been right to left. It was rocking my car from side to side. Had to be 60-70 mph winds.
Also very heavy rain at this point.
Then, suddenly, the wind calmed, the rain and hail stopped, and the sun came out from behind the clouds near the horizon behind my head, lighting the tornado up bright white as it changed shape:
Starting to weaken and dissipate.
This one's not in chronological order. I saved it for last because it's my favorite.