EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – Incredible video captured of a “gustnado” in Far East El Paso is making its rounds on social media.
KTSM’s Weather Authority along with the National Weather Service has confirmed this video is real.
From the dust swirling in the bottom to the condensation funnel cloud stretching to the top, this is the “best-defined” gustnado recorded in El Paso.
A gustnado is a short-lived swirling wind that can form on the leading edge of severe thunderstorms.
Although a gustnado looks like a tornado, it is not considered to be one.
Very strong thunderstorms produce powerful downdraft winds, which spread outward causing strong winds that can pick up plenty of dust or, if there is enough instability, develop rotation and a gustnado might form.
The biggest difference is that, unlike a tornado, the rotating column of air in a gustnado is not connected to the base of a cloud.
The average gustnado is weak and short-lived, lasting a few seconds to a few minutes.
Gustnadoes, however, can sometimes reach wind speeds between 60 to 80 mph.
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