On May 17, a “landspout” formed in the early afternoon west of Mountainair in Abó, said Warning Coordination Meterologist Scott Overpeck. He said the National Weather Service got two or three reports of them in the central part of the state on that day.
He said landspouts are bigger and stronger than dirt devils but they are very weak and smaller than tornadoes, only lasting 5 to 10 minutes.
A landspout, as defined by the National Severe Storms Laboratory website, “is a type of tornado with a narrow, rope-like condensation funnel that forms while thunderstorm clouds are still growing and there is no rotating updraft. The spinning motion originates near the ground.”