National Weather Service investigating possible landspouts in Sierra Blanca


Update: The National Weather Service has confirmed that one was a landspout.

The landspout will be labeled as an EF-U tornado, “U” meaning unknown strength.

The National Weather Service will not conduct a ground assessment because it was in a rural area and no damage was reported from the twister.

Original: HUDSPETH Co., Texas (KTSM) — Reports of possible landspouts near Sierra Blanca Tuesday evening have sparked interest in the weather community.

Landspouts are different from tornadoes because they do not form out of a wall cloud that begins to rotate. Instead, landspouts are caused by horizontal air that gets tilted upright by an updraft in a thunderstorm.

KTSM’s Weather Authority Chief Meteorologist Monica Cortez checked into the possibility of the sighting. The radar was unable to confirm or show signatures of landspout in Sierra Blanca, and therefore, the National Weather Service is having a hard time confirming whether the sister spouts were landspouts or a possible dust-devil.

While it’s difficult to determine, Monica says the photos do appear to show the structure of a landspout.

The NWS should make a determination on Wednesday, no injuries or damage was reported.

If you’re interested in learning more about weather and atmospheric conditions, join KTSM on Saturday, September 28 for our first Weather Fest. The event is free to the public and gives viewers the opportunity to learn more about weather. It’s also a great way for kids to become involved and interested in atmospheric science.

Come and take part in this first of its kind event Saturday, Sept. 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be located at 3801-D Constitution, in West El Paso. It is free to the public.

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