Rex Kindheart captured a fantastic look at a


Rex Kindheart captured a fantastic look at a “landspout” tornado near Pearl, Illinois Tuesday evening.

So what exactly is a “landspout” tornado?

They are called “landspout” tornadoes because they form on the surface of the ground then stretch up into the thunderstorm cloud. They are usually very weak and don’t live very long. This is the complete opposite of how classic strong tornadoes develop.

Classic tornadoes form with rotation aloft that tightens down toward the ground.

The “landspout” tornado that Rex caught on camera, developed on the intersection of two outflow boundaries. Outflow boundaries are formed by cold, rainy thunderstorm downdrafts. Think of little, miniature cold fronts. When two of them collide, they can get the air at the surface spinning!

Last night’s “landspout” formed one of those collisions approximately 3 miles south southeast of Pearl, Ill., in extreme western Greene County. It was very visible and numerous photos and videos were sent into our local National Weather Service Office as it moved slowly west-southwest. Based on all of the footage, the “landspout” appeared to be no more than 50 yards wide and on the ground for roughly one mile crossing open farm fields.

It dissipated as a waterspout on the Illinois River.