top of page

Weather News and Stories

  • Writer's pictureWeatherSD

Sightings of a Landspout

Pop-up showers and thunderstorms once again developed over the state's eastern region on Wednesday afternoon, but this time created concerns in one city in northeast South Dakota.

Photo Credit: Clark Police Department

As the thunderstorms started to develop, this landspout tornado was spotted just outside the city of Clark on Wednesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Clark Police Department

This prompted authorities in Clark to activate the tornado sirens and emergency personnel to be dispatched to watch the conditions of the landspout.

The landspout was short-lived, and there were no reports of any damage in the city of Clark.

Photo Credit: Clark Police Department

What is a landspout tornado?

A landspout is a tornado not associated with a mesocyclone or from a supercell thunderstorm. These tornadoes do not have any real large-scale rotation associated with them. Typically the spinning motion of the landspout originates from the surface and is pulled upwards towards the thunderstorm. Landspouts are generally smaller and weaker than their cousin tornados developed by supercell thunderstorms.

Often times these landspouts are rarely detected by weather radar because of their smaller size, weaker intensity, and lower depth, and meteorologists at the National Weather Service have to rely on ground reports.

What to do if you spot a landspout tornado?

If you feel your safety is in danger, take shelter as you would during a normal tornado event. This means go to your basement, safe room, or an interior room away from windows.


bottom of page