Rare ‘Gustnado’ Caught on Camera in Michigan, And It’s the Stuff of Nightmares

by Shelby Scott

You’ve definitely heard of, or even seen, a tornado before. And firenadoes have become much more common out West as global warming has intensified the severity of annual wildfires. However, have you ever heard of a gustnado? Rare footage captures the moment a gustnado, different from a tornado, descended on Michigan. And the gray swirl of dust and clouds, which you can view below, is absolutely insane.

Per Unofficial Networks, the strange, though equally fascinating, clip took place near New Haven and Richmond, Michigan. The videographer taped the event while driving down I-94’s eastbound lane. The outlet noted the difference between a tornado and a gustnado.

Compared to a tornado, which is a funnel that connects with both clouds and the ground, a gustnado occurs when a “storm downdraft creates a significant wind event that has not started rotation or connection to the storm cloud.”

Basically, the gustnado is similar to the way water eddies off of a boat’s wake as it makes a turn. So rather than it being its own event, it comes as a result of strong storm drafts.

Additionally, tornadoes typically pose more danger to humans and commercial and natural structures alike. However, the outlet reported that a gustnado can also cause a severe amount of damage.

Firenado Spawned by Los Angeles Wildfires Even More Terrifying Than Michigan Gustnado

As threatening as the gustnado above appears, it pales in comparison to a firenado, one of which actually spurred as a result of a California wildfire earlier last month. The footage, captured by KTLA 5, shows the moment individual several individual fires conjoined, resulting in a sky-high swirl of flames. The spinning orange vortex was a side effect of the Sam Fire. And while it represented one of several raging blazes at the time, firefighters put out the flames several weeks ago.

When the firenado originally broke out, the nightmarish funnel spanned an area of about 150 acres. As a result, trees and other natural elements were completely scorched, a disheartening, though increasingly common phenomenon amid the current climate crisis.

More than 200 firefighters were on scene to try and put out the firenado and the Sam Fire overall, and, despite the firenado at the time, they initially reported “good progress.”

Unfortunately, unlike wildfires and the above firenado, humans really have no way to battle weather events like tornadoes and gustnados. Instead, we’re forced to bear whatever consequences result from these often devasting natural disasters and pick up whatever it leaves behind.

Aside from wildfires, California, unlike Michigan is stuck battling several other natural disasters. Wildfires continue to burn in Northern California while recent downpours in the south have caused major mudslides. Further, on Tuesday evening, the coastal state also experienced a minor earthquake. And though it didn’t cause any major damage, it still managed to knock picture frames and other small items off of shelves and walls in many homes.