VIDEO: Powerful Storm Turns the Tables on Storm Chasers

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

( – A video showing storm chasers becoming ensnared in a tornado has surged in popularity, receiving 1.5 million views on X, previously known as Twitter, as of Wednesday morning. The video was posted on the platform the night before.

The alarming scene, recorded by Tanner Charles from Minneapolis and his team, reveals the chilling instance when a tornado causes a power line to fall close to a roadway, positioning their vehicle directly in the storm’s path.

In a description accompanying the YouTube version of the video, Charles indicated that this hair-raising encounter took place near Lewistown, Illinois, while they were tracking a severe storm rated as Enhanced Fujita 3, known for wind speeds ranging from 136 to 165 mph, on April 4. Charles emphasized that their team consisted of seasoned storm chasers with over 14 years of expertise, cautioning viewers against trying such risky endeavors.

Reflecting on the experience, Charles remarked in the video’s preamble, “This was undoubtedly the most harrowing event of my life and quite traumatizing, which is why it took me so long to share. I’m profoundly thankful that we survived and this might be the most dramatic footage I’ve ever captured.”

The video initiates with hail striking their vehicle as they draw near the tornado from the south. As they continue, an enormous swirling mass appears in the horizon. A voice from the crew alerts, “It’s heading straight for us; we’re right in its path.”

Halting their vehicle, they step out to film the twister making landfall, creating a dust and debris whirlwind. They persist in documenting it, even as lightning streaks across the road in front of them.

One of the chasers comforts another as the deluge grows heavier, saying, “Our way out is north, we’re fine for now.” However, another counters, “These winds don’t feel fine.”

Moments later, power lines along the roadway start collapsing, with those near their vehicle producing vivid sparks as they meet the ground. Amid exclamations, they bring their vehicle to a standstill and brace themselves. A powerful wind blast precedes the tornado’s arrival. As the tornado engulfs them, prayers are whispered.

The roaring wind surrounds them, hurling debris and shattering the vehicle’s rear window. Eventually, the storm diminishes. Exiting the battered vehicle, it’s evident that it’s been thrust into an adjacent ditch.

A report from the National Weather Service about the tornado stated it boasted peak winds of approximately 160 mph and spanned 600 yards. The agency reported that the tornado resulted in four injuries and inflicted damage on several residential and agricultural structures, moving from south of Ipava through Lewistown’s northwest and past Bryant.


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