The weather is notoriously unpredictable. A well-dressed weatherman smiles brightly through your television on Monday morning, promising you a sunny day, only to be caught in a hailstorm and late for work in a dented car.
The weather can also be extremely dangerous. Tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards, to name just a few, wreak havoc around the world every year, leaving death and destruction in their wake.
Below is a list of some of the most terrifying weather events on Earth that have been captured on camera or painted for posterity and served as a constant warning to seek shelter early.
As tornado sirens wailed throughout Joplin on 22 May 2011, many residents either ignored it completely or were slow to get to shelter. It is believed that this was mainly due to the number of false alarms over the years.
Daniel Fluharty was working at a Pizza Hut at the time and he and some of his co-workers walked outside to see if they could catch a glimpse of a tornado. What they saw was a monster EF5 twister so huge they couldn’t see a funnel and they initially thought they were looking at a thunderstorm. One of Fluharty’s co-workers made sure everyone was safe by ushering employees and patrons into a walk-in freezer. Veteran Christopher Lucas, however, didn’t survive and was hailed a hero afterwards.
The multiple-vortex tornado killed 161 people and resulted in damage to the sum of $2.8 billion.