A “landspout” is a special type of tornado, and is typically the type we see in Southern Colorado.

Shane Wollert caught some excellent video of the landspout near Lamar on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. This tornado damaged two barns, knocked down three trees, and damaged a home.

A classic tornado occurs from supercell thunderstorms. These storms have a rotating updraft (literally the entire storm is rotating) and as the thunderstorm grows higher into the atmosphere, the storm circulation is stretched vertically. That vertical stretching forces the storm circulation down to the surface and can create large, destructive twisters.

Use the image slider to compare the difference in the formation of a classic tornado and a landspout tornado

A “landspout” forms in a much different way.

Areas of shifting wind at the surface often form small, unnoticeable eddies along them. If a non-spinning thunderstorm updraft moves over one of these eddies it can be stretched vertically upward into the storm and create a landspout tornado. These are often weak tornadoes and appear rope-like. They are often visible for very long distances away from the storm too. They often make for great videos and photographs.

See the pictures sent in from the Tuesday storm near Lamar.