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Tuesday, May 07 2013 06:00 PM

Bakersfield gustnado? Weather Service now calling it a tornado

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    A screenshot from the video posted on YouTube of what the National Weather Service is now calling a tornado. The video description says it was recorded at 7:10 p.m. May 6 at Old River Road and Stockdale Highway.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

It wasn't a massive tornado like in the movie "Twister," but a weak tornado visited the southwest part of Bakersfield Monday evening.

At about 7:10 p.m., a small tornado was caught on video by a local resident. The National Weather Service in Hanford confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the video in fact showed a tornado near the intersection of Old River Road and Stockdale Highway and the Kern River.

"It only lasted a few minutes but it was in fact a real tornado but it wasn't the classic you might see in the Midwest," said James Brotherton, a meteorologist at the NWS in Hanford.

KERO 23 morning weather forecaster Elaina Rusk, during an appearance Tuesday morning on "First Look with Scott Cox," called the phenomenon caught on video a gustnado.

On its website the National Service describes that as "a term for a short-lived, ground-based, shallow, vortex that develops on a gust front associated with either thunderstorms or showers."

Miles Muzio a meteorologist at KBAK Channel 29, also called it a gustnado initially, but after more research he agrees with the NWS.

"It was a big discussion and a lot of people were weighing in as to what to call it but in the end it was a weak tornado," Muzio said.

Brotherton described the difference between the two.

"A gustnado happens completely opposite of thunderstorms and this particular tornado actually occurred in the updraft of the thunderstorm or back part of the storm, hence classifying it as a tornado," Brotherton said.

 

 

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