“Tornado” Report in Forest City





Reports of funnel clouds around 1 p.m. this afternoon caused some Rutherford County residents to seek cover, and others to call 911.
As the county’s Emergency Communications Center fielded calls, some officers scanned images of the clouds popping up on Facebook and Director Tammy Aldridge contacted the National Weather Service with photos.
NWS identified the funnels – one reported around Ellenboro, a second south of Forest City – as a small, weak type of tornado called a land spout.
A landspout is a type of tornado not associated with a thunderstorm, they form in a different way then your typical supercell thunderstorm tornadoes often characterized by strong, damaging winds.
Local officials say the funnels Tuesday did not touch down or cause damage.
While a typical tornado develops from rotation within the supercell thunderstorm eventually coming down from the cloud making contact with the ground, landspouts develop when a circulation at the surface is picked up by the updraft of a thunderstorm and eventually that circulation is ingested into the cloud.
An easier way to think of it is a tornado forms in the cloud and eventually works its way down to the surface while a landspout begins at the surface and works its way up into the cloud.
Since a tornado is defined as a rotating column of air in contact with the earths surface and the cloud above, technically a landspout is a torn9:27 PM 4/30/2013ado by definition.
They are usually very weak and short lived.
Click here to read the National Weather Service statement.

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