Just how rare are these sideways spinners?
"There's not even a settled-upon name for those," said Bob Henson, a meteorologist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.
In the video, horizontal, rope-like funnel clouds periodically twist off of the main funnel cloud. At 1:20 in the video, a large sideways funnel cloud forms in front of the twister."
"Sideways funnel clouds are usually seen only with the biggest and baddest of tornadoes, and yesterday was no exception, Henson told OurAmazingPlanet. The huge tornado may have carved a path from downtown Tuscaloosa to downtown Birmingham, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) apart. The tornado appears to be a mile wide and seemed to be on the ground for more than two hours.
The exact death toll from this monster is unknown, but statewide, tornadoes killed an estimated 162 people, CNN reported.
These huge tornadoes are spinning so fast that some of that spin is shed, spawning sidekicks. That's about as much as scientists know about these sideways funnel clouds. They're too small to be replicated or studied in the lab. And despite forming from long-lasting tornadoes, sideways funnel clouds are fleeting, lasting maybe 20 seconds before dissolving, as the video shows."
Now,,, I wouold have hated to have been caught up taking pictures of THAT beast!!!