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Gustnado seen at DIA as storms force ground stop

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Posted at 5:25 PM, Apr 27, 2022

DENVER — An active weather day at Denver International Airport forced officials to issue a ground stop Tuesday afternoon.

Flights in and out of the airport were delayed.

Gustnado seen at DIA as storms force ground stop

According to FlightAware.com, DIA was experiencing the most delays out of all the major airports in the U.S.

The ground stop was lifted just after 5 p.m.

Airport officials said a storm system that moved into the area produced strong winds, preventing some flights from safely landing or taking off.

The same storm system produced a gustnado on the north side of the airport. Twitter user @MileHighMAHOO captured video of the weather phenomenon and shared it with Denver7.

According to the National Weather Service, a gustnado is a small whirlwind formed within the the downburst of a thunderstorm.

Gustnadoes tend to be noticed when they swirl debris or form condensation clouds to be visible – so they are sort of “weak cousins” to a classic tornado and are very rarely considered tornadoes.

The gustnado has little in common with tornadoes structurally in regard to development, intensity, longevity, or the conditions in which they form.

What is a gustnado?

The average gustnado lasts a few seconds to a few minutes, although there can be several generations and simultaneous swarms.

Most have winds equivalent to an EF0 or EF1 tornado up to 110 mph and are commonly mistaken for tornadoes. However, unlike tornadoes, the rotating column of air in a gustnado usually does not extend all the way to the base of the thundercloud.