Rare landspout tornado confirmed in Phoenix — so what does that mean?

The National Weather Service has confirmed a brief landspout tornado south of downtown Phoenix.

PHOENIX - Tornadoes in Arizona are rare, but we know they happen. Twice last month, tornadoes were confirmed in southern Arizona and now the latest one was spotted in Phoenix Thursday evening.

The National Weather Service Phoenix Office confirmed the small landspout tornado Thursday. The meteorologist team received the tip on social media and then spotted the "minor" rotation on radar.

So what is a landspout tornado anyway?

A landspout is different because rotation starts on the ground. The storm then pulls it up into the air. Landspouts are similar to waterspouts except they occur over land.

This is unlike a traditional tornado we're used to seeing in the south or midwest because those types originate from storm-scale rotation. They're violently rotating columns of air that hit the Earth's land surface.

The National Weather Service Phoenix reported the landspout happening around 5 p.m. Thursday just south of downtown Phoenix.

The National Weather Service says the last time a tornado was reported in the Valley was October 2015 near Goodyear.

If you have any great weather photos or videos, you can always send them to us! Use #BeOn12 or the 12 News Weather Watchers Facebook page. And as always, make sure you capture them in a safe location.

 


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