Photo by Cole Boniwell and Ted Painter.

I’ve learned about so many new kinds of extreme weather in the last year or so — thanks, global warming! First there were haboobs, then derechos, and now this thing, which might have been a tornado but might also have been a “water spout over land,” i.e. a landspout. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR IT IS NOT A CANDYGRAM.

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Landspouts are technically a type of tornado, but they’re smaller and weaker than what we normally think of as tornadoes. Basically, they start closer to the ground, where swirling winds get sucked up and intensified by a thunderstorm; a typical tornado starts up in the thunderstorm itself. This one happened on Saturday in Virginia.
Man, I can’t wait to see what new types of frightening meteorological events we’ll encounter next! Maybe the firenado, a swirling mass of fire that moves at 50 miles per hour. I think I made that one up, but I’m sure we’ll find out imminently that I didn’t.
UPDATE: Oh crap, I didn’t invent firenados! Apparently I need to be more creative in my imagining of apocalyptic weather events — or less creative, since as soon as I describe a storm of live cobras or something I’ll probably find out that just happened in Panama.