A rare landspout tornado spotted Tuesday afternoon on the Southwest Side is the first confirmed tornado in Chicago in nearly 10 years, according to the National Weather Service.
Melanie Harnacke, the FAA contract observer on duty at Midway Airport, spotted the landspout tornado just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to the weather service.
On Wednesday, the weather service confirmed the tornado lasted from 3:48 p.m. to 3:58 p.m. before dissipating.
No damage was reported from the tornado, which was seen near the intersection of Ogden and Cicero. Anyone who has seen damage is asked to report it to the NWS.
A landspout is “a tornado with a narrow, rope-like condensation funnel” that forms while a thunderstorm cloud is growing, according to the weather service.
There was no rain or thunderstorm at the time the landspout was spotted, so it was simply “cumulus clouds along the lake breeze, but the same mechanism,” according to NWS, which calls a landspout is a “non-supercellular” tornado.
The tornado was the first within city limits since a brief F-O tornado on Loyola University’s campus on Sept. 22, 2006, according to the weather service.
No tornado warning was issued because they rely on “rotational signatures on radar,” which does not occur with a landspout. These types of tornadoes “are typically weak” and “typically produce no damage,” according to NWS, which said they are “rarely preceded by tornado warnings.”