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While on my way to the Colorado, Oklahoma border on the 31st of May, I saw a strange looking segment of cloud hanging down from the main body of a large cell… I knew immediately that it was a wall cloud, but wasn’t sure if it was the same one I had been hearing about for the last two hours, that had been dropping tornadoes down from it.

The next thing I knew, it developed a set of fangs on either side, and I saw that there was a lot of motion going on. The next thing I knew a trunk started to swing down and suddenly there was this beautiful stovepipe vortex running along the ground far from where I was.

I put the pedal to the medal and was yelling at my brother who happened to be on the phone with me at that moment “I see a twister!!! I see a twister!!!” at which moment I abruptly hung up on him, pulled over and shot this photo. After doing so, I called him back up and had the pedal to the metal once more.

In order to get to this tornado, I had to pass through the scariest clouds / storm cell I had ever witnessed. It rained so hard, I could hardly see a car length in front of me. When I finally punched through, this tornado was in it’s final life phase and soon disappeared.

After I parked, a second tornado formed behind where this one was, and that’s the photograph I posted earlier today.

Nikon D90
Nikkor 55-200mm AF/VR

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  • Mike Olbinski
    Mike Olbinskiover 4 years ago

    So proud of you.

    Next year…you, me…Andy…tornadoes galore!

  • I’d like that my friend… I’d like that a lot.

    – MattGranz

  • Bob Wall
    Bob Wallover 4 years ago

    Hey Matt. I just found this site and thought you might be interested.

  • Bob Wall
  • More than a couple of those shots are by a very talented Photographer/chaser named Mike Hollingshead and his take on storm photography is what inspired me to get out of California with my camera to Tornado Alley. His website is out of this world: “”;

    – MattGranz

  • Ann Warrenton
    Ann Warrentonover 4 years ago

    Awesome capture! Here is Bob Walls LINK

  • Ann Warrenton
    Ann Warrentonover 4 years ago

    Try the above link, fantastic weather pictures.

  • Like I told Bob, quite a few of those shots are from the incredibly talented Mike Hollingshead

    His works are what have greatly inspired me. Bob’s link was an excellent one.

    – MattGranz

  • Denis Molodkin
    Denis Molodkinover 4 years ago

    Excellent work, great composition, well done!

  • Thanks Denis!

    – MattGranz

  • D Byrne
    D Byrneover 4 years ago

    A Sunset Twister. Excellent work.

  • It was actually about four hours before sunset when I shot this. A curious thing happens when these storms get violent and you are to the east of them, the sky goes orange and red under the clouds… I don’t know why. Thanks for the compliment! I appreciate it.

    – MattGranz

  • Micci Shannon
    Micci Shannonover 4 years ago

    Another amazing shot Matt! MORE MORE MORE!!! ;)

  • I have a couple more… Thanks Micci!

    – MattGranz

  • diana anderson
    diana andersonover 4 years ago


  • Thanks diana!

    – MattGranz

  • TomBaumker
    TomBaumkerover 4 years ago

    Nice capture.Right place at the right time…Tom

  • almost… if I hadn’t stopped to take shots of the glossy mountains of Oklahoma, I would have been able to have gotten real close to this slow moving photogenic vortex… but I thank you for the awesome compliment all the same my friend… I’m just still kicking myself a little…

    – MattGranz

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