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Move aside sharks, a 'snow-nado' once popped up in New Mexico

Wednesday, February 17th 2021, 5:00 am - Landspouts are super rare in New Mexico, especially during February.

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New Mexico is the 47th state to join the United States. They're known for their annual hot air balloon festival, White Sands National Monument, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, a research center for America's first atomic bomb, to name a few. They are not known for snow or tornadoes. And no places are known for both of those things at once.

On Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, a snow-tornado was spotted in the Eastern Navajo Nation in Torreon, New Mexico.

A rancher filmed the landspout as it crossed a field picking up snow. The National Weather Service in Albuquerque confirmed that it was a landspout.

Landspouts live in the tornado family, but differ from a traditional cyclone because they aren't associated with a thunderstorm. Landspouts are created when a cumulus cloud is over a boundary of converging winds. It's essentially the same as a waterspout but over land instead of water.

The National Weather Service confirmed that this was the first tornado-like event on record for New Mexico during February.

So, the tornado-ish event is super rare for Feb., and it was met by something a bit more familiar with Feb, snow.

Luckily, this wind rotation didn't harm anyone or anything.

Props to the rancher who captured this on film.

To learn more about New Mexico's snow-nado, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Courtesy Lydell Rafael

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