We may be the smartest primates on the planet but nothing puts us back in our place like the power of Mother Nature. Whether it’s the brutal force of a tornado or the frightening power of a thunderstorm, few things can match the strength and spectacle of extreme weather. The following are 10 incredible examples of Mother Nature at her fiercest. Forget about grabbing your wellies and umbrella, if you see weather like this approaching, the best thing to do is just run and hide!
A Huge Sandstorm Approaches Phoenix, USA
The deserts surrounding Phoenix, Arizona, in America, often create sandstorms during the hot and dry summer months but few could match the incredible spectacle of the sandstorm in 2011. The city was totally engulfed by a huge cloud of sand and, as these pictures prove, the sight of the storm approaching resembled a scene from a disaster movie.
A Huge Wave Engulfs A Lighthouse
Extreme weather can have just as big an effect on the sea as it has on land and nowhere was this more apparent than the scene captured in the above photo. A photographer managed to catch the exact moment a giant wave totally engulfed a lighthouse and it provides the perfect example of the sheer power and ferocity of Mother Nature.
A Mushroom cloud hangs over Denver, USA
The above photo may look like the city of Denver has just been struck by an atomic bomb but this incredible image is actually just a weather front moving in from the Rockies. The huge mushroom cloud was totally natural, but I’m sure that didn’t stop a few Denver residents feeling a little panicky at the time!
A powerful tornado sweeps across Oklahoma, USA
Tornado chasing has become a popular pastime in America and involves weather fanatics trying to get up close and personal to hurricanes and twisters. It may not be everybody’s idea of fun but, as these images from a tornado in Oklahoma prove, it certainly allows them to capture some incredible photos.
The New Orleans floods of 2005
A powerful storm can cause flooding and damage to huge areas and cut off entire cities. This was certainly the case in 2005, when New Orleans was struck by the relentless Hurricane Katrina and tens of thousands of residents were left homeless.
Huge Wave On The Coast Of Portugal
The waters off the coast of Portugal are a favourite spot for surfers, due to the huge swells and waves that hit the coastline on a regular basis. This was certainly the case in December 2014, when strong winds saw some of the biggest waves ever recorded hit the coastline. If watching them wasn’t scary enough, some crazy people actually tried to surf them – Talk about being willing to die for your sport!
An Ice Storm Hits Lake Michigan Lighthouse
When extremely cold air and precipitation meet, the end result is often an ice storm which covers everything it touches in a thick layer of ice. One of the most breathtaking examples of one of these storms occurred in Michigan in November 2014, when a lighthouse was transformed into a beautiful ice sculpture thanks to the freak drop in temperature.
Flooding In China In 2007
Flooding can hit with little warning and with incredible force and this was certainly the case in China in 2007. This image of flood waters transforming an inner-city stairway into a powerful waterfall really captures Mother Nature at her most forceful and unpredictable.
Lightning Hits An Erupting Volcano In Iceland
In April 2010, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in spectacular fashion. If that wasn’t incredible enough, an approaching thunderstorm also provided breathtaking lightning forks to the jaw-dropping scene.
The Typhoon Wave And The Boy, China 2012
A powerful typhoon can cause huge waves to batter coastlines and this was certainly the case in China in 2012. This perfectly timed image captured the moment a small boy looked on in amazement as a huge wave threatened to sweep away everything in its path.