Let's say you look outside and see a twister.

Where are the tornado sirens?

They might not be going off because that might not be an actual tornado.

There are 3 different types of twisters.

One is very powerful and dangerous.

The other two are far less extreme, though they should be taken seriously.

Springtime is when you'll probably see all three.

So let's take a look at how you can tell which is which.

Let's start with a "LANDSPOUT."

attachment-landspout youtube

This type of twister starts from the ground with circulating air on the ground. Like a larger dust devil.

The storm above will pull it up.

Typically they have winds up to 60mph.

Notice the high cloud base.

The twister does not usually reach all the way up to the clouds.

Notice in the photo above that the funnel does not make it up to the coud base.

The cloud base is also very high.

Next, we have the "Cold Air Funnel."

attachment-Cold Air Funnel youtube

There is usually cold hair up in the storm.

Rotation begins.

But the funnel rarely reaches the ground.

These twisters, or funnels, are very common in the spring when we still have plenty of cold air around.

So we will see them mostly in early spring.

Finally, we have an actual "TORNADO."

Joy Handley/Listener
Joy Handley/Listener

Notice the entire cloud is twisting.

The base of the cloud is much, much, lower to the ground.

This type of storm will actually appear on the radar.

This is the most dangerous of the twisters.

Maximum winds.

Maximum damage.

Regional weatherman Don Day of Day Weather describes all of this in his recent morning podcast.

Scroll to about 4:27 in this video. That's where he begins talking about these events and how you can tell what is what.

There is nothing unusual about these twisters.

Some years we have more than other years.

When averaged out over several decades or longer the numbers show us that we are not having any more or less.

They are more common in some parts of the country than others.

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