SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The weather can change in a hurry this time of year, and as you’re about to see, that’s exactly what took place in southwest Minnesota on Tuesday.
Take a look at this video taken from the Windom, Minnesota area on Tuesday afternoon. A swirling cloud of dust created quite an ominous sight, but is it a tornado or a really big dust devil?
The answer is likely somewhere in between. We would categorize this feature most likely as a landspout tornado. May is the most common time of the year to spot a landspout in KELOLAND.
Usually, we find them sprouting up in benign spring-time thunderstorms that don’t necessarily produce other modes of severe weather. Landspouts form from the ground and spin up into the clouds as the updraft spins and stretches into the visible vortex you see with the dust. Dusty fields are great breeding grounds for landspouts because the heating of dry ground intensifies the instability near the ground. It all adds up to quite a sight, but one that often dissipates quickly.
If you spot a landspout, we encourage you to take shelter indoors. Even though they are weaker than a traditional tornado, they can cause damage. This serves as a good reminder to stay aware of the weather in the coming days as more thunderstorms will be common.