Skipping tornado

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A skipping tornado is a vaguely defined term which refers to a tornado which has a discontinuous damage path.[1]

This may be due to several factors:[2]

  1. The tornado actually lifting from the surface (which technically makes the two damage paths separate tornadoes)[3]
  2. The tornado passing over a portion of land where there are no structures or vegetation capable of showing damage[3]
  3. The tornado temporarily weakening so that the winds are below the damage threshold of the structures or vegetation being affected.[3]

Skipping once was a term used to describe breaks in the damage path of what was considered as a single longer track tornado. With the discovery of cyclic tornadogenesis with some supercell thunderstorms, it was learned that successive tornadoes form with new mesocyclones and the resulting series of tornadoes is referred to as a tornado family. Before it was recognized that tornadoes can be multivortex, the phenomenon of subvortices also caused confusion both during a tornado and for surveying damage paths.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charles A. Doswell III (1 October 2001). "What is a tornado?". Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Roger Edwards (2014). "Skipping tornado". The Online Tornado FAQ. Storm Prediction Center. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  3. ^ a b c Charles A. Doswell III (1 October 2001). "What is a tornado? (footnotes)". Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Doswell, Charles A., III; D. W. Burgess (1988). "On Some Issues of United States Tornado Climatology". Mon. Wea. Rev. 116 (2): 495–501. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1988)116<0495:OSIOUS>2.0.CO;2.