Click here for severe weather and general weather photos in metro Atlanta from Summer 2014.More >
Click here for severe weather and general weather photos in metro Atlanta from Summer 2014. More >
GILMER COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -
A gustnado was captured on camera in Gilmer County on Wednesday.
This was a part of a storm system that produced 25 severe thunderstorm warnings in the CBS46 viewing area in one day, all due to strong winds.
CBS46 meteorologist Jim Loznicka re-tweeted a picture of the feature which was captured by Tommy Zirkle, and published on Facebook by the Gilmer County Sheriff's Office.
What is a Gustnado?
A gustnado may look like a tornado, but it is not. This feature is usually associated with strong thunderstorm winds, but not the severe winds that are associated with violent tornadoes.
A typical tornado develops in a very organized, rotating thunderstorm that can stay on the ground for a while and produce a lot of damage.
A gustnado is a shot-lived turning of the clouds that is produced by strong winds at the leading edge of a thunderstorm.
When the rain-cooled air falls to the ground in a strong storm, it spreads out and clashes with the surrounding warmer air. This clashing of two different airmasses can sometimes produce small "spin ups," but they're not tornadoes.
Gustnadoes develop and dissipate so quickly that they typically aren't even seen on radar.
Are they dangerous?
Even though the winds in a gustnado won't be as strong as those in a violent tornado, they could still strong enough to produce minor damage. This is because gustnadoes usually develop as the result of a severe thunderstorm that is already producing strong winds.
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