May 22, 2010: Bowdle, South Dakota Tornadoes - Jonathan Merage

Like a monstrous jet engine on take off, the tornado grew into a huge wedge within SECONDS. Before this, I had never seen (or imagined) a tornado hitting full-force SO rapidly, and the maelstrom of mist and condensing vapor being INHALED towards the storm's core made for a dramatic picture.

In under a minute, the winds at our location (now just east of the tornado) went from perfectly calm to gusting to almost 90 mph as the RFD (rear-flank downdraft) cascaded down & around the front, passing right over us. The barometer on the vehicle measured a confirmatory drop as the winds accelerated into the tornado, causing my ears to pop!