Tornado? NO! It's a Gustnado! - CBS46 News

Tornado? NO! It's a Gustnado!

Posted: Updated:

A viewer caught on camera what appears to be a gustnado in Pinal County on Monday. 

Check out the See It, Snap It, Send It below. 

A gustnado may look like a tornado, but it forms a bit differently. 

A tornado forms in the updraft of a supercell thunderstorm and is attached to the base of the cloud.  

Plus the vortex that creates a tornado drops down from the cloud.

This vortex is first called a funnel cloud then a tornado when it makes contact with the ground. 

A gustnado is formed from the gusty outflow of a powerful thunderstorm. 

The outflow can kick up air ahead of the storm and some of that air can then start rotating to form a small vortex.

Notice that the gustnado in the picture below is not attached to the base of the cloud but out ahead of the storm.

A gustnado is independent of the storm cloud and forms from the surface of the Earth, stretching upward, which is similar to a dust devil. 

Gustnadoes are generally weak but can match the strength of an EF 0 or EF 1 tornado with 60 to 80 MPH winds. 

Powered by WorldNow
CBS Atlanta
Powered by WorldNow
All content © 2000-2014 WorldNow and WGCL-TV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.