Tornado over snow-covered ground: Tinian, New Mexico - February 17, 2019

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Jan 14, 2011
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This is the first time I'm aware of that a tornado with a debris cloud made of snow has been photographed. This from Tinian, New Mexico (northwest of Albuquerque) on Sunday, February 17, 2019:

https://twitter.com/ByronKOAT/status/1097649075325886464

Reports are calling it a landspout, but the low cloud bases look low-topped cold-core supercell to me. It also looks like a wrapping RFD there as well.

I'm going to try and dig around for the meteorological details/setting of this event, as it should be interesting!
 
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Jan 14, 2011
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NWS has now posted an LSR:

.TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON

.DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE.


..REMARKS..

0322 PM TORNADO 9 S OJO ENCINO 35.82N 107.36W
02/17/2019 MCKINLEY NM PUBLIC

LANDSPOUT TORNADO NEAR TINIAN

Guess that makes it official. I do think there is some room for debate as to whether it was a landspout, but definitely a tornado and almost certainly associated with a snow squall. Very unusual event.
 

Lisa Monk

Enthusiast
Feb 23, 2017
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Toledo,OH USA
NWS has now posted an LSR:

.TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON

.DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE.


..REMARKS..

0322 PM TORNADO 9 S OJO ENCINO 35.82N 107.36W
02/17/2019 MCKINLEY NM PUBLIC

LANDSPOUT TORNADO NEAR TINIAN

Guess that makes it official. I do think there is some room for debate as to whether it was a landspout, but definitely a tornado and almost certainly associated with a snow squall. Very unusual event.
Very interesting indeed

Sent from my SM-G920V using Stormtrack mobile app
 
Mar 28, 2009
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Hagerstown MD
Thought I'd post this here. Different event, but its in New Mexico, and in the news.

CNN Met totally blows the call IMHO. Shame, I find they are usually better than TWC.

Mods - if I am stepping over the line please delete the post and forgive me.

Met say's this is clearly not attached, so its not a tornado, making it a snow devil.

Forgets that devils occur in clear weather, not under snow storm.

The video clearly shows a tornado under a cloud base near a precip shaft.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/weather/2019/02/20/snow-devil-new-mexico-sot-vpx.hln

Misinforming the public just gets my goat. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

-T
 
Truman, it is actually the same event. Other than that, you are right - it is NOT a snow devil; it is a legitimate tornado, since there is a column of rotating wind between the cloud base and the ground. The CNN met should have known better. Even if just by checking the LSRs from the ABQ National Weather Service.
 
Mar 28, 2009
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Hagerstown MD
Thanks John,

Would ABQ know if the parent cell made any lightning ? just wondering, waterspouts often occur under TCu' s with no lightning.
Yesterday we had thundersnow here in Maryland, got me curious about this NM storm, which is obviously making precip, so it is a Cb,
but a Cb is not necessarily a thunderstorm.

I get really interested in marginal cases, ones that stretch the limits of possibility, and the ones that require hair-splitting the definitions. If you are like me, look up "Midget Supercell Spawns Tornado" in Weatherwise Magazine. Stable tornado in marginal setup. Cell makes ONE lightning bolt !

I'd like to know if this one did not make any at all. Can't find any archived data on this one....
 
I don't know whether there was any lightning with this cell. Nor do I know of a place to get archived lightning data without paying for it. There were some reports of thundersnow in southwest Colorado with this storm system, though I do not know exactly where that happened. But that would not have been from this cell, of course.