What’s the difference between a tornado and a landspout?


(WEHT) Some of the pictures and videos sent to us Tuesday during the severe weather event seemed to show what looked like a very skinny tornado. But was it a tornado or a landspout?

Both are rotating columns of air and both are connected to clouds. But a tornado is formed by upper winds rotating the storm and the funnel then coming to the ground.

A landspout is when winds go up into the storm, called an updraft, while winds at the surface are coming together, or converging, and then getting into the updraft and causing the rotation.

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