Thursday, July 5, 2007

I saw my first tornado (sort of)!

It was about 3:45 p.m. and I was working in the weather center, when I happened to look up at one of the TV monitors and noticed something unusual. This particular monitor was showing live video from our Thornton cam, looking south toward the Denver Metro Area. North of the downtown area, I saw what appeared to be a brown column of air.

At first, I thought that it might be a column of smoke from a fire. I quickly called Mike over to ask him what he thought it was. Ironically, at the same time, the monitor right next to the thornton video was showing footage sent in to the station of a landspout seen earlier this week. We looked at the two, side by side, and noticed how similar they looked. As we continued to watch the monitor, we could see that the column was indeed rotating.

Our storm chaser, Tony Laubach, was in the weather center as well, and recognized that it was, indeed, a landspout. A landspout, is a weak tornado, that spins upward from the ground rather than down from the cloud.

We quickly hit record and were able to capture a few seconds of footage of the landspout before it vanished. Not only did I get to see my first tornado from the live camera, but I am proud to say that I was the first to spot it on the monitor. Mike even mentioned my name on the news when talking about the landspout!

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