‘Gustnado’ damages park after twirling across Ohio River. So what is a gustnado?

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@KSU_Evan/Video Screengrab

Video shared to Twitter shows a ”swirling column of air” twirl across the Ohio River before it hit land and damaged a local park, weather experts say.

“In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have gone boating today…,” Twitter user @KSU_Evan shared Saturday, May 21.

The video of the unusual event was one of several received by the National Weather Service, which helped experts determine what exactly the boater captured.

It was a “gustnado,” officials said. And it likely had winds moving 70-80 mph based on the destruction it caused near Sayler Park in west Cincinnati.

“Numerous trees were damaged, some completely knocked over or uprooted and thrown onto homes and power lines,” the National Weather Service said in a report.

What is a gustnado?

The National Weather Service describes gustnadoes as small whirlwinds that form as eddys — circular movements of water — in thunderstorm outflows. They are not tornadoes and they do not connect with cloud-based rotations.

Like a dust devil, though, a gustnado can cause damage.

Officials say this gustnado that moved across the Ohio River formed in the outflow boundary of a storm several miles behind.

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