Astonishing video of a tornado formation recorded with a Nokia Lumia 925

Tornados are no joke, especially for a lot of people in the US this time of year. This video, posted yesterday to YouTube, already has 40K views, and it’s easy to see why. The footage shows the formation of a tornado at very close range. While the video quality is outstanding, it’s the filename that caught the attention of our tipster: WP 20140526 001.

Anyone with a Windows Phone knows that’s how videos are labeled. Combined with the high quality of the video (including superb audio and video stabilization) and it doesn’t take a prodigy to figure out this is probably a high-end Lumia of some sort.

Sit back and check it out, though be warned, there is some NSFW language involved (after all, it is a tornado!).

Update 9:30 PM ET: The video was shot with a Nokia Lumia 925, as confirmed by the video owner.

Thanks, Mike H., for the tip!

Source: YouTube

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I just drove cross country. So glad I didn't see a tornado...
  • The video should start with... "DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME"
  • Shold start with "heyall yeah mangs, we are heree for the OIL RUSH in ND and thawt we would post this LUMIA WINDOWS OS PHONE THANGYY on the YouysTUbez. What we are loookin' at is a funnel cloud. A tornada. It could kill us at any second, but we film on. It's pretty. And SKARRY. Giggle. Run. Don't die. Bye.
  • LOL
  • 1020!
  • Actually, the guy that uploaded the video said it was shot with a Lumia 925 - pretty awesome quality.
  • actually it's awesome to see them (from a distance), i saw a pair of twin tornadoes in the field a couple years back, I was with my family so I couldn't get closer, unforgettable experience.
  • Probably taken on a 520
  • @tkdmacgeek: Better to ask the video owner himself or even do some internet research where his recent selfie shows him using a Samsung ATIV S Neo. Although he can be some techie guy with a spare Lumia. LOL
  • You know he used a 1020, and not some crap ICON or 1520
  • Then this should surprise you. Dan, the guy who uploaded it said it was a Lumia 925.
  • Awesome. Updating.
  • L925. I fucking love this phone. I get compliments all the time on my phone for its design and picture quality.
  • I want an L925
  • I love my L925 but I love my L1020 too :-D
  • 2 things. When you see a Tornado, the first thing you should do is stand outside in your mobile home resort watching it form. Youtube's video stability sucks. It needs to die a slow and painful death. They're lucky Darwin was on vacation.
  • Your comment needs to die a horrible death.
  • I'm not on Vacation lol
  • What the fuck?
  • So your suggesting they sit in their mobile home, possibly right in its path? I wouldn't be so quick to judge there... Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Come on, really? No, when a tornado is near, you obviously TAKE COVER in something that won't get ripped up, or thrown around. Places you don't stay in? Outside, in your manufactured home, in a vehicle outside. Aside from the insane winds that create the funnel, they also turn objects into missiles which can impale, and easily blast through the windows of your average truck. Why do you think all those people were getting the hell out of there? When the sirens are going off, you get your ass to the nearest shelter. I've lived in the midwest for years, I know what to do when a tornado is near.
  • "Where do we go" head right into it.
  • Lol!!!!... But, the comments section is the best!!! The winner of the most funny YT comment of the day goes to "Skweezy"... Lol.
  • Yeah, man, that comment cracked me up earlier. Funny stuff.
  • Lol!!
  • What's the name of the app to do such kind of screenshots? I forgot..
  • Device Shot.... It's awesome if you remember to use it...
    That tiny pic site is also cool for easily showing pictures.. It's actually easier than OneDrive..
  • "cockatiel lung"....hahahahaha.
  • Awesome the power of nature caught in action with the power of WP. What phone is that? I hope all the residents of that regent the best.
  • That awesome image stabilization says it all :)
  • What's that the NL 1020? Remarkable.
  • I want to say yes. That's how clear the videos I capture look.
  • Cool thanks. That is a bad phone Hollywood like video. Awesome. Respect to all NL 1020 owners. Wow!
  • It was shot with a Lumia 925. The guy who shot the video and uploaded it to youtube said so himself in the comment section
  • Out of curiosity as to what phone he used, I (embarrasingly) tracked him online, instead of asking. LOL... A simple search for the guy would show him taking a selfie holding a Samsunv ATIV S Neo!!!
  • Nice try except that Dan Yorgason who shot and uploaded the video  on youtube said in the comment section that he used a Lumia 925.
  • theres no way thats an ativ, maybe he changed phones since that selfie?
  • I'm very impressed at the quality of videos that my Lumia takes.  When you're viewing it on the phone it almost looks 3D it's so clear. 
  • +shark
  • Dear God, I just saw that movie for the first time this weekend. Worst movie EVER!
  • Haha that video is not a movie dog.
  • He's talking about Sharknado "dog".
  • hahaha. and speaking of that move, i will NEVER see it.
  • No! Do me a favor, go watch it getting riffed live by the guys from Mystery Science Theater at your local film house: Their live (broadcast) events are amazing. I watched the Twilight series like that and it was hilarious.
  • I will check it out! It's showing at a place right down the street from me!
  • I know but that is irrelevant on this thread. That is one remarkable video. Nonsense is not acceptable to derail the thread, Fuck his movie focus here is on that video. Remarkable.
  • Calm down. Yes, this is a cool video. But do you really want a thread of comments where every single one is 'cool video'? There's realy not much else to say about it. Life doesn't have to be serious all the time, have some fun. :)
  • I actually never did see it, lucky me! :)
  • It's like a train wreck in motion. You know you shouldn't watch it but you have to see it through to the end.
  • If ya want movies ya can watch reality shows. F ya if this real world example irks you.
  • Seems dumber.
  • Funny how one of the better quality tornado vids shot from a phone, comes from guys from a trailer park!
  • Why? You can get a nice phone for pretty cheap courtesy of Craigslist and a prepaid plan. :)
  • Courtesy of Nokia ;) ... I was trying to point out the quality you get from an affordable Windows phone... Also, usually we are watching grainy crap shot from an "expensive" iPhone or similar!
  • It's temporary housing for oil workers.
  • Of course it was taken from a trailer park. Tornadoes have very specific tastes.
  • Lol. And how were they just giggling along? I would have jumped in that truck and floored in the opposite direction. They are acting like it's a movie. I'd nope right outta there.
  • My wife said, "They're in a trailer park!" I said, "That's why there's a tornado!"
  • I was wondering the same thing. It seems trailer parks are like candy for extreme weather.
  • People gathered there to for tornado watching.
  • It's not an actual trailer park. That is temporary housing setup for field workers such as oil and gas. You'd be surprised, those guys can actually make some pretty big bucks doing that stuff. 
  • Outstanding quality of audio and video. Gotta be a Lumia!
  • Lumia 925 to be exact. So said Dan Yorgason, the guy who shot and uploaded the video, in the comment section of youtube.
  • & that is why I own a Lumia. For all of life's random moments, my 1020 has me covered.
  • Crazy!
  • I'm very happy they are ok & saddened by any damages resulted to others. Can Microsoft get this footage, to market a great WP ASAP !!!!!     
  • Video quality didn't seem any better than old VHS recorders, maybe it looks better if I watch it on my PC. But definitely a lumia based on the image stabilization and audio recording.
    Very impressive to see that tornado so close up though.
  • It's a 720p video dude.
  • Not sure if you were being sarcastic with the VHS comparison. But if you weren't, did you even stream it as high quality video??
  • I was using MyTube. I saw no setting for HQ video.
  • Yup, I see Lumia OIS in action! Judging from nice conditions of homes and trucks, I'm guessing these guys probably work for the oil sector booming in the area (Watford, ND)
  • These guys have the whole "keep calm" thing How are they just laughing like that?
  • I wish they would have recorded in 1080p :/
  • We have tornadoes, cause we live in a giant toilet. Someone is just flushing a giant turd away. Just look on the floor outside. Pieces O turd everywhere >ㅁ<
  • These guys have balls
  • .. for brains
  • And are too stupid to know how to use either.
  • He used only 5 mega pixel lumia 520. Look his other videos in YouTube.
  • He said in the comment section it's a Lumia 925.
  • Actually reminded me more of a large construction site with multiple contractors. Notice all the vehicles were pretty much the same. They say it's gonna hit their shop and in the comments it say North Dakota oil workers. So it's not like an Arkansas divorce.
  • Those trailers probably cost for grand a month if they're in Watford city
  • awesome .
  • Found a news story about the Tornado, they are using the same video.  According to the story, 9 people went to the Hospital, no deaths reported.   Very imressive video though.  Very cool   Correction, multiple stories, including major news outlets. All with the same video with the cursing.  Lots of agencies trying to licence the footage as well.
  • Some thoughts: 1. Incredible video quality. Impressive and something the Lumia folks should hang their hat on. 2. Incredible video content, they were practically staring straight up that funnel. Never seen anything like that before.  3. Getting in your car in a tornado is the single WORST choice you can make, never do that. Find a ditch or a low lying area. Getting under the deck probably would have been the wisest choice. 
  • As soon as I saw the deck, I told my wife, "I'd be getting under the deck." And I used to be a storm spotter, trained by the NWS. These guys are idiots.
  • Just watched it on a larger screen, (Vizio Smart TV) and the quality is awesome!
  • I really hope these guys are not an accurate example of Windows Phone Users. It was like watching Bevis and Butthead... HuhHuhHuh...
  • Crazy
  • What dumbasses. This video should be "What not to do when you see a tornado!".  
  • "Sit back and check it out, though be warned, there is some NSFW language involved (after all, it is a tornado!)." LOL. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone curses in the face of danger and possible death, whether tornado or gunfire in the LZ. ;)
  • I'm an army infantry vet that served in the korengal valley in Afghanistan. Cursed everyday
  • My comment was that not everyone does. If you did, then you are in the the group that did. To each his or her own. I just saw Daniel's sentence as a little hilarious.
  • Slow news day?
  • Nope, Blocks9 bad comment day though! Also, 28 articles != slow news day ;)
  • Should be '!='...
  • Dan, it would be best to confirm with the video owner if it was indeed a Lumia. It would be a great surprise if it wasn't.... I didn't have the luxury or motivation to ask and wait for a reply from the owner. Just searching him (and confirming his credentials) would turn up a picture of him using a Samsung ATIV S Neo.
    It's not like I violated his privacy btw since he has those pics in public availability. (This reminds me of that FBI character in criminal minds who does internet/database checks... LOL).
  • It was confirmed as a Lumia 925.
  • Dan Yorgason himself said in the comment section of youtube where he uploaded the video that he used the Lumia 925.
  • You're not a real fan if you don't know Penelope's name.
  • Out of curiosity as to what phone he used, I (embarrasingly) tracked him online, instead of asking. LOL... A simple search for the guy would show him taking a selfie holding a Samsunv ATIV S Neo!!!
  • Except that in this case, Dan Yorgason, who shot and uploaded the video on youtube, himself said in the comment section of his youtube account that he used the Lumia 925.
  • From a former storm spotter, trained by the National Weather Service, don't do this. Even if you have a Lumia.
  • +F5
  • That would be EF5 these days. ;-)
  • +F4 (Phantom)
  • I would literally deficate myself if I ever saw a tornado that close. 
  • I would do the "holy trinity" Shit, piss and vomit all at the same time if i seen that comming for me. So much so i would be dehydrated and die before it got to me.
  • They don't seem particularly frightened by the event. Treating it all as a piss take.
  • Yeah, until someone loses an eye.
  • It's all good until a 2x4 gets driven through your brain.
  • IS it just me, or did the indestructability of the Nokia save their lives?
  • I watch the video and that tornado was so close towards them. Wow they that bold to record a dangerous tornado.
  • There's a big difference between bold and stupid. These guys didn't make it to bold.
  • Those guys are nuts laughing and all. It's amazing how much better the video looks on the Mytube app as opposed to the web based hq version.
  • 1:19 says it the best: Rednecks (see it for yourselves from the video). Nevermind your cellphone, just help people around you by telling themselves to duck cover, and only after that pussy-hide yourselves into a vehicle. 
  • Pussy-hide?  Would you have ripped your shirt open, bared your chest to the tornado and did your best primal scream?
  • Ha, this is all over my Facebook wall too, cause I'm from North Dakota.
  • So he replied. Recorded with a 925.
  • Nl925 is a very nice phone. I switch between it and the nl 920
  • Awesome! Nice audio and video quality.
  • Nice camp, the oil companies put them all up in mobile homes, way better than the modular condos i was in Fort Mac.
  • This blew my mind, did they end up driving away? That phone takes amazing video, makes me regret switching to an HTC One M8. I love Windows Phone, anyone want to trade? 
  • That sh#$ was crazy......u rite I won't try that at home
  • Well......if he get's tired if being a ruffneck,he's got a good start at being a storm chaser... Mac
  • Why are they not trying to warn the others in the trailer park that a tornado is forming, people might die because these guys want to film the tornado instead.
  • Those dudes were complete idiots they could have easily died
  • Yes. My phone.
  • OIS is amazing.
  • We just need a follow up video with side by side footage from the GS4 and the iPhone 5s.
  • Annoying voice, but really cool vid! Android and iOS users don't know what they're missing
  •   Those guys are crazy. But that was an awesome video. Special effects have nothing on Mother Nature.