A storm chaser in Oklahoma captured incredible footage of a tornado with his drone today, giving a unique perspective on the incredible meteorological phenomenon.
Brandon Clement was chasing in Sulphur, Oklahoma earlier today, when he launched his drone to follow the tornado, capturing stunning footage of it as it moved across the landscape and following it all the way until it dissipated. I'm particularly impressed by Clement's combination of meteorological and flying skills, as the airflow around a violent storm is both very complex and very strong and could easily overwhelm a small drone if the pilot were to stray into the wrong area.
The footage reminds me of the Brooklyn Park tornado in 1986, when KARE helicopter pilot Max Messmer and photographer Tom Empey happened upon a forming tornado and broadcast the entire thing live during the 5 o'clock news in what would become unprecedented footage, both from a scientific and dramatic standpoint. You can see that famous footage below.
While there has been drone footage of tornados before, as far as I know, this is the first time a drone has been used to actively chase a tornado as opposed to just providing a static perspective.