Maybe tornados form from landspouts or gustnados that get pulled into the mesocyclone. Is there some way to look for a correlation between number of tornados on a given day and how conducive conditions are to producing gustnados or landspouts?

Edit: We all know how severe storms form. But some severe storms produce tornados and some dont. Nobody knows why. I am suggesting that maybe the reason some dont is because conditions at that time were not conducive to producing landspouts or gustnados. It might be possible to look at the statistics and see if that is the case. If so then that might help forecasters to predict when tornados are more likely to form.

Edit2: A gustnado is a short-lived, shallow surface-based vortex which forms within the downburst emanating from a thunderstorm.[2] The name is a portmanteau by elision of "gust front tornado", as gustnadoes form due to non-tornadic straight-line wind features in the downdraft (outflow), specifically within the gust front of strong thunderstorms. As these eddies very rarely connect from the surface to the cloud base, they are very rarely considered as tornadoes.


Landspouts are a type of tornado which forms during the growth stage of an ordinary cumulus congestus cloud


Edit3: changed dust devil to landspout

  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_devil en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado $\endgroup$ – trond hansen Aug 18 '19 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ Yes? What is your point? $\endgroup$ – R. Emery Aug 18 '19 at 8:20
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    $\begingroup$ it does answer your question about where to look for information. $\endgroup$ – trond hansen Aug 18 '19 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ @R.Emery: Dust devils and tornados are two fundamentally different meteorological things, and thus a correlation with a reasonable scientific background under reproducible or even reasonable conditions, let's say, very difficult. But if you restrict the question to a certain specific observation you've made and somehow documented, we could disucss and try to explain that. $\endgroup$ – user20217 May 22 '20 at 7:42

Although there is a superficial resemblance between tornados and dust devils, they are very different. There is no connection between the two. I have seen lots of dust devils in reality, but tornados only in videos. Whereas tornados are very large and usually very wet, dust devils are very small and very dry. They occur in deserts and very hot, dry environments. They have enough power to uproot tent pegs and blow down a large tent, but nothing more. I was interested to see that they are fairly common on Mars in what passes for hot weather there. Mars, of course, is a dry, sandy desert, but a very cold one by our standards. The atmosphere is tenuous, but as gravity is only a third of Earth gravity, the dust is lighter and easier to pick up. Hurricanes also have a superficial similarity to tornados, but are vastly larger and produced in a completely different way, but at least they are wet.

  • $\begingroup$ None of that contradicts anything I said $\endgroup$ – R. Emery Aug 18 '19 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ Dust devils form near ground at times without the major storms that form tornadoes. Tornadoes form from above, starting at the clouds and then propagate downward (not always reaching the ground). The dynamics of how the turbulence in the atmosphere twists into the form of a tornado is well described. So this answer is correct, tornadoes don't form from dust devils. $\endgroup$ – haresfur Aug 19 '19 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ I didnt say they form from dust devils. I said they form from dust devils that get pulled into the storm. And of course they intensify from the top down. So what? $\endgroup$ – R. Emery Aug 20 '19 at 13:18

I think what you are asking is there a way to do a research project that would look for a correlation between number of dust devils and tornadoes. Dust devils, being very local phenomena, are not tracked (as far as I know). So finding the data would be your first challenge. Even if you could get a dataset of dust devil occurrence you would have the challenge of demonstrating that you do not have a spurious correlation. This would be especially hard since to most observers these are completely different with one being found only in deserts and the other being associated with thunderstorms that are the result of convection currents moving water vapor up into higher levels of the atmosphere. Don't look to statistics to test your hypothesis. I think you need to go deeper into both phenomena. Find a mechanism that explains why they would be linked. Then do research to see how often the proposed mechanism is found when tornadoes (or dust devils) are found.

  • $\begingroup$ The mechanism is that it gets pulled into the storm and becomes a tornado. And what do you mean "only in deserts"? Waterspouts can form under even small clouds. $\endgroup$ – R. Emery May 22 '20 at 8:03
  • $\begingroup$ @R.Emery dust devils are made from rising hot air and tornadoes are made from falling cold air(colder than the surounding air)so they are two different unrelated things,the only similarities are they rotate.but you are right dust devils and watersprouts can happen anywhere. $\endgroup$ – trond hansen May 22 '20 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ Tornados consist of warm moist rising air. $\endgroup$ – R. Emery May 22 '20 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @R.Emery please read my comment if you still have problems understanding it please read it again as many times as you have to. $\endgroup$ – trond hansen May 22 '20 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ Tornados consist of warm moist rising air not "falling cold air" $\endgroup$ – R. Emery May 22 '20 at 12:02

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