Presenting: The first tornado pic of 2007??

(Health warning: might be a landspout)

Was out chasing some great storms today. Massive CAPE of 3000+ on dryline out near Johannesburg today.

Got behind a line of storms on the plains south of the city. Was watching rain wrapped structure when I saw it quite far away. Zoomed in with my video camera and got this pic, it's a bit indistinct, but on the video you can see it rotating and moving along for about a minute.

This tornado or landspout was where I had expected to find structure at the north rear of the storm
 

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A crew from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey accidently intercepted the Troy tornado on the way from Norman to San Antonio for the 2007 AMS conferenece. Here are a couple of pics courtesy of Danny Cheresnick:

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Structure was actually pretty decent!

Aaron
 
So i have a question on these winter tornado's... about a half hour before the Troy event I was watching radar and saw nothing but rain. Is there a signature for these or are the just luck if you get to see them. I am used to observing the normal supercell tor's but this has me totally confused. Any explaination?
 
Hi MJ

Nice catch, I suppose if it is anything like Australia the road network (lack of) prevented you from getting any closer.

The poor storm season continues here south of about 30'S, from there north there has been activity.

Was looking through Google earth last night at the coastline of the eastern Cape, looks to much like the coastline here where I live.
 
Damn. Trust them to find one in Texas in the middle of winter. ;)

Hi Michael. The coastline here does look very similar to the east coast of Australia from what I can see, certainly in latitude and angle as well. I've read reports about those huge storms that happen from Sydney upwards which travel up with the Southern Ocean lows. Much like we have here as well. Very simliar indeed. Even the pictures look the same.

Yes the road network was a problem as well.

The storm season here has been very active on the eastern coastal escarpment only this year. But the interior highveld plateau has been completely dead, due to a lack really strong fronts creating decent mid to upper level shear.

Mungo
 
So i have a question on these winter tornado's... about a half hour before the Troy event I was watching radar and saw nothing but rain. Is there a signature for these or are the just luck if you get to see them. I am used to observing the normal supercell tor's but this has me totally confused. Any explaination?

This is a note I have sent to Gary Woodall at the Fort Worth NWS...

I am putting a CD in the mail that contains some shots from a small tornado in Troy, Texas that occurred about 3:30 PM on 12 January 2007. It is rather unusual in that the radar had none of the normal presentations associated with a Tornado.

Gerald Richmond, N5ZXJ received a call from KCEN saying that a tornado was on the ground in Troy. Gerald just happened to be in my kitchen at the time and I had just gone into my office area to check on the weather to the west. There was absolutely nothing that indicated severe weather. My initial response was to ask what they were smoking at KCEN.

There was one fast moving blurb passing over the area but absolutely nothing I would normally pay attention to. You can get the exact time from the photos if you wish to check the situation out. I have two other spotters that I rely on for Radar info when I am chasing and they were just as astonished.

While on our way to Troy, we stopped and checked out a couple of other lowerings over the Temple area. We would normally not have paid any attention to them but because of the reliable sources reporting the Troy tornado we watched them until they moved on. Our radar guy, Jerry Loden, KE5AXA said there was absolutely nothing he could see that would normally cause concern. The Troy photos are very similar to what Gerald and I were looking at without the funnel.

We had a convergence of weather weenies at the area of the touchdown, very minor damage, but something to talk about. Lon Curtis was there and he and I had a short conversation about this type of situation. This is very similar to the outbreak we had a couple of weeks ago where we had fast moving low level Gulf moisture with enough lift and shear to create pop-up F0-F1 tornados.

So why am I taking the time to write this and send you the photos?

  • <LI class=MsoNormal style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1">it is in January <LI class=MsoNormal style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1">it had no normal signature, totally below the radar (I looked at several elevations on the GRK radar) <LI class=MsoNormal style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1">It had no apparent lifting or shear mechanism <LI class=MsoNormal style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1">It was not in any kind of watch or warning area
  • I am ignorant of this type of tornadic situation and we have had two such events in the last two weeks
I can get photo releases if you need them. The quality is not good but the situation is a little unique and this documents it.

end of note
 
No offence Mungo, but are you sure that was a tornado? I see no funnel and it looks like the disturbance isn't beneath the mean cloud base. Looks distinctly like a dust devil from your shot... :)
 
I didn't want to say...but since someone else has...

Isn't that a Dust Devil or some dust kicked up by the gust front or a downdraft...
 
That's a nice colour correction Chris.

It could well be a spout. In my experience dust devils don't usually happen in rain, to much cooling.

That it happened in the rear north side of the storm (S hemisphere), suggests it might be a nado.

I've got an open mind on the subject. But strange that those making this argument are the same people from this English TORRO organisation who were insisting on a previous thread that spouts and topo spin-ups should be classified as torndoes??
 
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That's a nice colour correction Chris.

It could well be a spout. In my experience dust devils don't usually happen in rain, to much cooling.

That it happened in the rear north side of the storm (S hemisphere), suggests it might be a nado.

I've got an open mind on the subject. But strange that those making this argument are the same people from this English TORRO organisation who were insisting on a previous thread that spouts and topo spin-ups should be classified as torndoes??

Once again Mungo you are showing your distinct lack of understanding for tornado developments, although this has come to be expected.

I don't know what you mean by a "topo spin-up", but I can guaruntee you 100% that tornadoes do occur in the UK...but whether you believe that or not is your problem I guess.
 
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