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Visual Effects

The Farnham Fakenado

The Farnham Fakenado

We had been watching the rain-free base of this storm for some time, noticing intermittent growth to a fairly placid wall cloud, but never any strong rotation. I hadn't looked that way for a minute or two while driving; and as we were repositioning northward for better view, I suddenly noticed this. Needless to say, I pulled off the road fast! Careful study revealed that this was not strongly rotating, and was not a tornado. Instead, it was a large lower tier to the wall cloud we had been watching. The bottom of the cloud was blocked from view by that low hill. The cloud lowering broke up harmlessly into chunks of slowly rising scud material, ending the "fakenado" experience. The supercell soon choked to death on outflow from another storm. Inexperienced and/or impatient spotters often report such tornado look-alikes as the real deal, especially if in a tornado watch and tornadoes had occurred already during the day. [We had seen a 38 minute tornado a couple of hours earlier, farther NW.] Fortunately, no area spotters made a misidentification mistake in this case.

3 ENE Farnham NE (10 Jun 4) , looking WNW

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