EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – Incredible video captured of a “Gustnado” in Far East El Paso is making its rounds on social media.
Meteorologists along with the National Weather Service confirmed this video is real.
The video of the well-defined “gustnado” in El Paso showed dust swirling in the bottom to the condensation funnel cloud stretching to the top.
A gustnado is 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 between a tornado and a gustnado is that in a gustnado the rotating column of air of air is not connected to the base of a cloud, where as a tornado is.
The average gustnado lasts a few seconds to a few minutes, like a tornado does, but is weak and short-lived. Gustnadoes can sometimes reach wind speeds between 60 to 80 mph.