Gustnado Causes Damage in Serbia, Differing from Tornadoes and Dust Devils

On April 18, 2024, a gustnado, a short-lived whirlwind resembling a tornado, was spotted in Serbia, highlighting the importance of understanding and accurately identifying various wind phenomena to improve public awareness and meteorological research.

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Salman Akhtar
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Gustnado Causes Damage in Serbia, Differing from Tornadoes and Dust Devils

Gustnado Causes Damage in Serbia, Differing from Tornadoes and Dust Devils

On April 18, 2024, a gustnado, a short-lived whirlwind resembling a tornado, was spotted between the towns of Crepaja and Padina in Serbia. The event caused damage in the area, though the extent of the destruction was not specified. Many initially thought the phenomenon was a tornado or waterspout, while some even speculated it was a "desert devil." However, the person who recorded video of the gustnado correctly identified it.

Slobodan Sovilj, the head of the National Center for the Hydrometeorological System and Early Warnings at the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMZ), explained the characteristics of gustnadoes. Unlike tornadoes, gustnadoes are not connected to the cloud base. They can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h, which would be the lower end of the tornado intensity scale (F0 or F1). While generally less dangerous than tornadoes, the sudden appearance and short duration of gustnadoes make them difficult to predict.

Why this matters: The occurrence of a gustnado in Serbia highlights the importance of understanding and differentiating between various types of wind phenomena. Accurate identification and reporting of such events can help improve public awareness, safety measures, and meteorological research.

Sovilj noted that the increased use of social media and smartphones has enabled more people to capture and share footage of rare meteorological events like gustnadoes, which may have gone unnoticed in the past. "Gustnadoes differ from tornadoes and dust devils in their formation and characteristics," Sovilj explained, emphasizing the need for accurate identification and reporting of such phenomena.

Key Takeaways

  • Gustnado, a short-lived whirlwind, spotted in Serbia on April 18, 2024.
  • Gustnadoes are not connected to cloud base, can reach 100 km/h speeds.
  • Gustnadoes are less dangerous than tornadoes but harder to predict.
  • Increased social media use enables more reporting of rare weather events.
  • Accurate identification of gustnadoes can improve public awareness and research.