All Weather News

What Is a Landspout?

27 Jun 2016, 8:30 pm

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You may hear meteorologist use the term landspout from time to time, but what is a landspout? The technical definition of the term landspout is a tornado that does not arise from organized storm-scale rotation, and therefore is not associated with a wall cloud (visually) or a mesocyclone (on radar). But what does this mean?

A landspout is virtually a tornado that forms from a thunderstorm that is not a supercell. They are essentially the land-based equivalent of a waterspout. They are typically weak, and short-lived. The term landspout was coined by meteorologist Howard B. Bluestein in 1985. Landspouts should still be taken as seriously as they can still do damage, and are still classified as a tornado since there is contact with the ground.


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