Cool tornado pics from Bahrain

Check out this article with close up image of a tornado that was sighted in Bahrain.

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?A...W&IssueID=28270

There is a PDF image of the whole paper with a larger image of the tornado. I don't know how long it will be up.

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/source/XXVI...mages/page1.pdf

The tornado appears to be of the landspout variety but I don't have any other info. The article states a few people chased it in their cars to get pics.

Because I don't know much about Bahrain, I located this brief article about the country.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahrain


Bill Hark[/url]
 
It is called "minitornado" in the article..From the pics it doesn't seem very "mini", after have seen the large vortex of dust at the ground.
 
Excerpt from the article:

A statement from the Civil Aviation Affairs meteorological directorate said the mini tornado, also known as a mesoscale feature, is a rare phenomenon in Bahrain.

.......

\"The mesoscale was caused by the long spell of humid weather and higher-than-normal temperatures (at this time of the year).\"

I guess it's a good thing these are rare events there.... :roll:

Glen
 
Personally, I would love a few good mesoscales around here come August - caused by humid weather and higher-than-normal temps of course.

Bring on the mesoscales ...
 
Originally posted by Greg Stumpf+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Greg Stumpf)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Bill Hark
The tornado appears to be of the landspout variety
Just curious - what makes you think this?[/b]


I also think it is of the landspout nature as well. Why? Visual evidence shows that. Not to say looks can be false. Landspouts generally do not have a 'full' condensation funnel, and generally just the vortex continues to the ground and dust or debris fills in the shape. This is just from what I have read and studied.....
 
Concerning the true nature of this "mesoscale feature" ...

About all we have to go on, structure-wise, is a comment by one witness: ""It could be seen reaching all the way up into the clouds."

Along with this meterological agency's comment: "Heavy showers caused by super cell convective clouds affected some parts of the kingdom in the morning and early afternoon yesterday."

So ... if this was indeed associated with convection (which may have even been supercells according to that comment), we still don't know what part of the storm this particular feature was associated with. We can't tell whether this is associated with outflow or inflow by the pic, which could very well amount to nothing more than a glorified dust-devil ... or potentially a tornado at best, if associated with a rotating updraft. Since there probably aren't a lot of qualified storm spotters in the Middle East, my guess is that we will never know.

By appearance alone, we might judge this to be anything ... from a glorified dust devil to a gustnado to a full blown tornado. There's just not enough information provided here. Some things we DO know, though ... it's not a mini-tornado (since there is no such animal) and it is not a "mesoscale".
 
Well according to the article, there was heavy rain and the vortex (according to witnesses) was attached to clouds, and wind measured at around 62 knots associated with this storm. I think you can rule out the dust devil feature, since those aren't associated with convection. That leaves only 2 possiblities.
 
If I recall correctly from the article the 62kts was from a different storm some years ago.

On November 19, 2000 Bahrain witnessed its strongest recorded winds near a severe thunderstorm.

However, experts said the winds yesterday remained light and variable near the super cell.

\"On November 19, 2000 the winds gusted to 62 knots at the Bahrain International Airport,\" it said.
 
The fascination with the international community at large with the term "mini-tornado" is one that I have battered black and blue for years to no avail. N-O-T-H-I-N-G will stop those cheery BBC weathermen from coming on screen after the news and gleefully informing the public that a "mini-tornado" has just swept ashore at Bath.......or wherever.

I don't understand it and I don't pretend to. It's just frustrating that it seems that every other country outside of the U.S. has no interest whatsoever in naming meteorlogical features correctly. Or learning, it seems. Of course some countries are still developing - and therefore one would expect their severe weather reporting/logging to be a bit lacking in the factual/detailed aspects. But - why the UK's officials still seem obsessed with using these wishy-washy terms, is beyond me.

I wonder if the same happens in Australia? I'm thinking probably not....

KR
 
Karen - I wonder if the general perception - albeit inaccurate - is that true tornadoes only occur in the U.S. or something, so anything else must just be a miniature version of the big dogs here.

Personally, I think we should start calling tornadoes associated with mini-supercells "mini-tornadoes" ... just to keep things interesting and really confuse the international media (that was facetious, btw).
 
Originally posted by Andrew Khan+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Andrew Khan)</div>
Originally posted by Greg Stumpf@
<!--QuoteBegin-Bill Hark

The tornado appears to be of the landspout variety

Just curious - what makes you think this?


I also think it is of the landspout nature as well. Why? Visual evidence shows that. Not to say looks can be false. Landspouts generally do not have a 'full' condensation funnel, and generally just the vortex continues to the ground and dust or debris fills in the shape. This is just from what I have read and studied.....[/b]

Some supercell tornadoes can have poorly-developed funnels or none at all. For example Rolla, Kansas 5/31/96 and Salt Lake City, Utah 8/11/99. The first two tornadoes on 5/12/04 (Medicine Lodge/Attica) initially had little in the way of a condensation funnel despite a strong circulation and dust/debris whirl at the ground.
 
Originally posted by Dan Robinson
Some supercell tornadoes can have poorly-developed funnels or none at all. For example Rolla, Kansas 5/31/96 and Salt Lake City, Utah 8/11/99. The first two tornadoes on 5/12/04 (Medicine Lodge/Attica) initially had little in the way of a condensation funnel despite a strong circulation and dust/debris whirl at the ground.

The Jamestown, KS storm on May 29, 2004 as well ... only about a third to half of the tornadoes produced by that storm had complete condensation funnels.

In any event, it seems pretty wild that there have been so many international tornadoes that have been well documented/photographed. There have been some noteworthy tornadoes in South America (was it Argentina or Brazil - I forget now), Spain, Italy, Germany, England, and now Bahrain, among others.
 
Greg,

Given what I've seen and read of this particular event, I would place more in the "Tornado" classification rather than dust devil or Landspout. However, my definition may be flawed as well.

Would you give a shot here and explain the "why" or "why not" of it's a tornado as opposed to Landspout or vice versa?

A couple of years ago, I witnessed what I initially thought was a landspout near Wellington, Ks. It was a straight vertical semi-transparent tube about 30 yards wide near a boundry area during a marginally severe thunderstorm. This same complex of storms was producing a tornado near Udall, Ks. at the same time. This same storm went on to produce an f-2 that did some pretty hard damage to a brick frame home.

The reason I "thought" of "Landspout" was that I did not see any associated rotation in the clouds. The tornado was straight vertical with condesation funnel extending about half to 3/4 to the cloud base. I changed my tune though when I was about a mile from the tornado and did see the rotational origin of the funnel.

I would certainly like to learn the differences and hear your opinions.

John Diel
 
Bill Hark wrote:
The tornado appears to be of the landspout variety

Just curious - what makes you think this?


I made that comment based on its appearance though I realize that is a flawed approach. I don't have data or nice wide-angle images to see the structure of the entire storm. I suppose actual supercells are very rare in that area.

As for Karen's comment, I think the British (or British influenced forecasters call any tornado a "mini tornado" if the tornado is not massive and going across the American plains. I also think that only large destructive tornadoes are seen on video in foreign countries. They never see small spinups and weak tornadoes. Thus any weak local tornado becomes a "mini tornado."

Bill Hark
 
Originally posted by Dan Robinson+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Dan Robinson)</div>
Originally posted by Andrew Khan+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Andrew Khan)
<!--QuoteBegin-Greg Stumpf
@
<!--QuoteBegin-Bill Hark

The tornado appears to be of the landspout variety

Just curious - what makes you think this?


I also think it is of the landspout nature as well. Why? Visual evidence shows that. Not to say looks can be false. Landspouts generally do not have a 'full' condensation funnel, and generally just the vortex continues to the ground and dust or debris fills in the shape. This is just from what I have read and studied.....[/b]

Some supercell tornadoes can have poorly-developed funnels or none at all. For example Rolla, Kansas 5/31/96 and Salt Lake City, Utah 8/11/99. The first two tornadoes on 5/12/04 (Medicine Lodge/Attica) initially had little in the way of a condensation funnel despite a strong circulation and dust/debris whirl at the ground.[/b][/quote]

Why do some tornadoes have weak and poorly formed funnels with them?

Sort of like the 6/29/05 MN torndoes....it took on a landspout-ish look, because the funnel was not well developed while the vortex had already reached the earths surface.
 
Originally posted by Andrew Khan+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Andrew Khan)</div>
Originally posted by Greg Stumpf@
<!--QuoteBegin-Bill Hark

The tornado appears to be of the landspout variety

Just curious - what makes you think this?
I also think it is of the landspout nature as well. Why? Visual evidence shows that. Not to say looks can be false. Landspouts generally do not have a 'full' condensation funnel, and generally just the vortex continues to the ground and dust or debris fills in the shape. This is just from what I have read and studied.....[/b]
The presence or lack of a condensation funnel has no bearing whatsoever on the source of the vorticity that produced the tornado. It is a factor of the humidity and pressure deficit in the vortex, whether or not both can combine to bring the air to saturation to condense cloud. For example, non-supercell tornadoes (landspouts) are the common tornado variety along the sea-breeze convergence zones in Florida and along the Gulf Coast in summer, and conditions usually allow for full condensation funnels there. Other responders have also noted that supercell tornadoes can frequently be observed sans condensation funnels. And I've witnessed a couple of Colorado landspouts with full condensation contact.

Just wanted to clear that up with some folks with misconceptions. As for what kind of tornado that was in Bahrain - without more data or photographs of the storm structure, I will not venture to guess.
 
I think the chances are this was a landspout. There would be perhaps more to the weather story if there was a supercell there.

The term 'mini tornado' has been used for years by the media in both Australia and New Zealand.
 
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