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Landspouts near State Patrol Headquarters, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

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Published on Jun 5, 2012

These upwardly rotating clouds have been identified as weak landspouts. (My camera was having aperture difficulty and I neglected to manually focus, so the quality is poor. I slowed down this video at times when zoomed in so the rotation is more clearly seen.)

These landspouts formed after the heavy rainstorm had passed to the east, and I was still out doing my Skywarn storm spotting. This was on Saturday, 05-26-2012 at 4:10 p.m just south of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I could feel little to no wind where I was standing on a hill, and there was almost no thunder or lightning anymore. The landspouts were 1.6 miles north of me just to the west of the State Patrol Headquarters (coordinates 44.761208 -91.415194) This was shortly afterward all the damage happened north of me in the city of Eau Claire, attributed to straight-line winds. See article http://www.weau.com/home/headlines/Po...

I observed that mist was beginning to form after the rainstorm passed by, and it was getting caught in the landspout updrafts.. They were rotating very slowly upward, but I could see it clearly -- resembling a double helix. They didn't appear any more strong than a dust devil. There were at least four that I saw within a five-mile radius within a half-hour period. It did not fit the storm structure or conditions that I've been trained to watch for in a tornado, and there was no marked rotation in the clouds above.

UPDATE: A couple years after posting this video, a National Weather Service/Chanhassen official has confirmed that these were indeed landspouts, however weak.

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