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Record 1 1995-02-21


Subject field(s)
  • Atmospheric Physics

The gustnado has been accepted as a "type of tornado" but is not associated with the typical tornado characteristics. It is a brief, intense vortex that forms on the leading edge of severe gust fronts. Scud and debris or dirt may be seen but a condensation funnel is usually absent. They will last from a few seconds to a minute and are strong enough to cause minor damage. They are distinguished from a true tornado by their location under an advancing dark cloud bank ahead of the rain core. Although the air is rotating, the situation would group this event more appropriately with straight-line winds.


The leading edge of a gust front (or downburst) often creates an area of convergence which can lead to future thunderstorm growth; close monitoring of visible gust fronts becomes very important in forecsting areas of future storm development. Gust fronts from a line of cells, such as a squall line, can form an elongated area of divergence and convergence. These elongated areas or squall line gust fronts are important components to the squall line structure, and often times a producer of severe weather due to straight-line winds.

Key term(s)
  • straight line wind
  • straight line winds
  • straight-line wind


  • Physique de l'atmosphère

«gustnado» : On la considère comme un «type de tornade» mais elle n'a pas les caractéristiques habituelles de la tornade. C'est un tourbillon intense et de courte durée qui se forme sur la bordure antérieure d'un fort front de rafales. On peut voir des nuages en lambeaux et des débris ou de la poussière, mais rarement d'entonnoir de condensation. La «gustnado» dure de quelques secondes à une minute et peut causer des dégâts mineurs. Elle se distingue de la vraie tornade par sa place au-dessous d'un banc de nuages sombres qui approche, à l'avant du noyau de pluie. Même si l'air est en rotation, la situation porte à classer ce phénomène avec les vents rectilignes.


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