Tornado seen 'swallowing' cars with dirt, flying debris in terrifying video

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Motorists unexpectedly drove straight into the path of a raging tornado in Germany last week — and the terrifying incident was captured on video.

A video that has been circulating online shows two cars driving down a tree-lined road in Schwalmtal, Germany, when suddenly a tornado appears. Trees are nearly blown over by the powerful winds, which kick up dirt and other debris.

The vehicles parked just ahead of the tornado, which slowly inched closer. The tornado then "swallowed" the cars with darkness.

Meteorologist Anton Seimon told National Geographic the tornado was likely winding down by the time the motorists reached it, estimating winds were about 74 miles per hour at the time. The drivers did the right thing by slowing down and keeping their distance, he added.

If you find yourself trapped by a tornado at its highest intensity, however, Seimon recommends ditching the car and finding a safe space.


“Abandoning the vehicle and lying face down in the lowest place possible, such as a drainage ditch, is [recommended] over trying to ride out the tornado within the vehicle,” Seimon told the publication, explaining that tornadoes can be powerful enough to pick up vehicles.

A tornado is a column of “rapidly rotating air that comes from a powerful, towering thunderstorm” also known as a supercell, Janice Dean, Fox News’ Senior Meteorologist, explained ahead of tornado season.

Tornadoes are often unpredictable.

While tornadoes are "spawned by strong thunderstorms, not all strong thunderstorms end up predicting tornadoes," Dean said.

The tornado hit several towns in western Germany last Wednesday, injuring at least two people and damaging several homes, Reuters reported.

Fox News' Madeline Farber contributed to this report.