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Watch: this 360-degree video of a tornado will make you fear the power of almighty nature

Screen Capture / AccuWeather / Youtube

Tornadoes provide some of the most terrifying displays of destruction nature has to offer. The weakest of them suck up air that whips as fast as 70 miles per hour, while the strongest can reach a breathtaking 300 mph and destroy whole communities in their wake.

Witnessing a tornado of any speed up close is a sublime (and very dangerous!) experience. You shouldn't ever attempt to "chase" a tornado.

Which is why the following video is so cool.

Shot by professional storm chaser Reed Timmer, this 360-degree video of a tornado puts you near the eye of a storm that touched down on May 7 near Wray, Colorado.

I usually feel the word "awesome" is overused in describing YouTube videos. But this one, produced by AccuWeather, fits the definition.

(Some viewing notes: The video starts with the camera oriented away from the storm. Turn it 180 degrees, using the arrows in the upper left corner of the frame, to see the beast. Also, on mobile, the video works the best when played in the YouTube app.)

To get a view of the full funnel cloud, you can tilt your phone's screen, or click and drag the video if it's on a laptop or desktop. If you pan up, you can see clouds far away from the center orbiting the funnel as if it were a black hole. The video takes on a bleak, apocalyptic beauty that's hard to capture with a standard camera.

Springtime is peak tornado season in the United States. This tornado was one of seven that touched down in Colorado over the weekend. ABC news reports at least five people were injured as a result.

Thankfully, tornadoes are usually short-lived, lasting around 10 minutes at most. This one still appears to be spinning at the seven-minute mark.


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