Rare Tornadoes on Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano

Friday, April 6, 2018
Rare Tornadoes on Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano
Rare Tornadoes on Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano

Volcanic eruption is a familiar spectacle on the island of Hawaii. Tornadoes, on the other hand, are rare. Videographer Mick Kalber has been working around Kīlauea a long time. But until March 29, Kalber had never seen a landspout on the volcano before. That day, he spotted several at once.

Landspouts, named for the waterspouts they can resemble, are a type of small tornado. Formed without the descent of a precursor funnel from a storm cell, landspouts instead seem to reach up from the ground. If no material gets swept up, they can be invisible. This volcanic vent, called Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, is part of the Kīlauea's East Rift Zone, and has been erupting since 1983.

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