— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) June 7, 2017
Wednesday afternoon, severe thunderstorms bubbled up over North Dakota and Minnesota. About 1:30 p.m., this tornado touched down near Hatton, N.D., and blasted through dark soil to create one of the more ominous twister scenes we’ve seen so far this year. The video was shot by Valley News in Fargo, N.D.
Here’s the thing about tornadoes — they’re just air! Rapidly spinning, dangerously fast-moving air. If you were able to simulate a tornado in a “clean room,” you wouldn’t be able to see it. The only reason tornadoes have the color they do is because of tiny water droplets (cloud, precipitation) and the ground they’re passing over.
Tornadoes suck up and toss around dirt and debris, which is what make some of them look so dark and scary. In this video, the tornado may not have been that strong, but it was churning through very dark soil, which is what makes it so impressive.
The National Weather Service confirmed this tornado wasn’t as strong as it looked. The agency found damage near Hatton that suggested it was an EF-0 — the lowest strength on the scale — with maximum winds of 80 mph. The width was just 50 yards, but the tornado traveled 2.7 miles, so it had plenty of time to pick up a lot of debris along the way.