Pilot David Evans was flying his Sundancer motor glider between Minco and Tuttle, Oklahoma (40 miles Southwest of Oklahoma City) on Sunday afternoon when he found himself side-by-side with what turned out to be a ‘landspout tornado.'

At the time of his flight, there were a few thunderstorms in the area. According to the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla., the twister couldn't be spotted on radar. It also lacked "large-scale weather features" that would have normally caught the attention of meteorologists looking for potential tornadoes.

Unknown to the pilot at the time, the funnel did have a ground circulation attached to it, officially making it a landspout tornado, but not a very strong one.

According to NOAA.gov:

Landspout is a tornado with a narrow, rope-like condensation funnel that forms while the thunderstorm cloud is still growing and there is no rotating updraft - the spinning motion originates near the ground.


These tornadoes have flat bases and a fluffy, cotton-like appearance. Landspouts are not long-duration tornadoes that destroy everything that comes in their way. They are a weak tornado that lasts for around 15 minutes. The wind speeds rarely exceed 100 mph.

So far this year, Oklahoma has had 46 Tornado Warnings issued, about half as many as there were in 2020. (87)

The fewest amount of tornado warnings issued statewide in Oklahoma in a calendar year was just 11 in 1988. The most in a single year were 230 in 1999.

Iowa Environmental Mesonet

 

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