The strong monsoon storms that downed trees and power poles and flooded streets in the Valley late Thursday afternoon brought one more surprise — a tornado.
The tornado formed in the skies just south of downtown Phoenix by gusts of wind going 40 miles per hour about 5 p.m., said Andrew Deemer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix.
Deemer described it as a landspout tornado, which is caused when the boundaries of converging winds start spinning near the land’s surface.
The Weather Channel, on its website, explained it this way:
“A tornado is spawned from a parent thunderstorm with a rotating updraft, but a landspout isn’t. A landspout requires a towering cumulus cloud to be present over a boundary of converging winds near the surface. As that cumulus cloud grows and passes over the boundary, the rotating air is stretched vertically and eventually grows into a landspout. If you’ve ever seen a waterspout develop, it’s very similar, except landspouts occur over land.”
The NWS tweeted images of the tornado shared with the agency via social media along with a radar screenshot confirming what it described as a “brief” landspout tornado over an area southwest of the Interstate 17 and 10 freeway split south of downtown Phoenix.
It was the first reported tornado in the Phoenix area since Oct. 6, 2015, when one was cited over Goodyear, according to NWS.
The tornado did not cause any damage or injury.
Power lines are down on Shea Boulevard and 40th Street after a monsoon storm in Phoenix on Aug. 3, 2017. Rob Schumacher/azcentral.com
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Monsoon rains blow manhole covers at Terminal 4 in Phoenix Sky Harbor. Cheryl Evans/azcentral.com
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Views of the Monsoon storm in north Phoenix. Rob Schumacher/azcentral.com
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Rain falls in Chandler during a monsoon storm on Aug. 3, 2017. Matt Self/azcentral.com
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Rain falls in Tempe on Aug. 3, 2017. Karina Bland/azcentral.com
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A storm shuts down the trails at the Desert Botanical Garden on Aug. 3, 2017. Zachary Hansen/azcentral.com
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A tree fell into the road at Thunderbird and Cave Creek roads during a storm on Aug. 3, 2017. Richard Obert/azcentral.com
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Heavy rain falls in downtown Phoenix on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. Nick Oza/azcentral
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A double rainbow appears after a storm moves through metro Phoenix on Aug. 3, 2017.
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Driving in a rainstorm on East Cactus Road in north Phoenix on Aug. 3, 2017. Rob Schumacher/azcentral.com
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Slow motion video of rain droplets in Chandler, Arizona on Aug. 1, 2017.
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Water erupts out of a manhole at Sky Harbor International Airport during a storm on Aug. 3, 2017. Michael Chow/azcentral.com
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A woman who drove past a “road closed” sign on Citrus Road, just south of Interstate 10 in Goodyear, gets stuck in the mud and has to abandon her car after heavy rains soaked the Valley on July 24, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral.com
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Mesa Fire and Medical crews rescued a stranded motorist in Apache Junction on July 24, 2017. Mesa Fire and Medical Department
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Floodwaters race past the Apache Junction Police Department. Robert E. Wheeler Jr./Special for azcentral.com
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People walk across the crosswalk at the start of a monsoon storm in downtown phoenix on July 29, 2017.
Mike Meister/The Republic
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Rain falls in Phoenix on July 24, 2017. Nick Oza/azcentral.com
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Flooding in Apache Junction on S. Ocotillo Road. Robert Geist/azcentral.com
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Water running through the San Tan Heights subdivision off Hunt Highway in San Tan Valley on July 24, 2017. Robert Anglen/azcentral.com
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Flooding in a wash in the San Tan Heights subdivision in San Tan Valley on July 24, 2017. Robert Anglen/azcentral.com
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Mesa firefighters conduct a water rescue on Monday, July 24, 2017. (Mesa Fire and Medical Department)
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Water rushes along 64th Street just north of University Drive in east Mesa on Monday, July 24, 2017. (Wendy Killeen/The Republic)
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Heavy rains create a large pool of water in Mesa’s Ensenada Park on July 24, 2017. Wendy Killeen/azcentral.com
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Rainfall soaks 64th Street in Mesa on July 24, 2017. Wendy Killeen/azcentral.com
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A dust storm moves toward the Valley on July 23, 2017.
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Rain near Seventh Street and Glendale Avenue in Phoenix on July 21, 2017. Lindsey Collom/azcentral.com
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Lightning is flashing and rain is soaking east Mesa near Power and Brown roads Thursday night, July 20, 2017. Wendy Killeen/azcentral.com
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A peach-faced lovebird rides out a monsoon windstorm in a mesquite tree in Phoenix on July 14, 2017. Rob Schumacher/azcentral.com
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Images from the storm on July 14, 2017.
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An approaching monsoon storm near Surprise and Waddell kicks up a lot of dust on July 14, 2017. April Morganroth/azcentral.com
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Azcentral.com photographer Rob Schumacher shot this beautiful time-lapse video of monsoon storm thunderhead building over Carefree.
Rob Schumacher/The Republic
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Azcentral.com photographer David Kadlubowski shot this beautiful time-lapse video of a monsoon storm in Phoenix.
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A tree that fell over during a storm on July 10, 2017, is disposed of in Gold Canyon. Loren Townsley/azcentral.com
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A dust storm moves across the East Valley during a monsoon storm July 10, 2017.
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A microburst drops some rain near Waddell on July 10, 2017.
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Meteorologists’ video of storm clouds as they form and evaporate and reform and evaporate over Mount Lemmon on Aug. 17, 2006. Video shot by Joseph Zehnder; Weldon B. Johnson/azcentral.com
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Newspaper stands are knocked over as a thunderstorm makes it’s way through Phoenix.
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Wind and rain start to pick up in Northwest Valley.
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Storm downs power lines in Phoenix
Rains blow manhole covers at Sky Harbor
Monsoon storm in north Phoenix
Storm drops rain on Chandler
Rain falls in Tempe
Rain pours at Desert Botanical Garden
Toppled tree after monsoon storm
Heavy rain in downtown Phoenix
Double rainbow after storm moves through
Driving in rainstorm in north Phoenix
Light rain in Chandler
Manhole cover blown at Phoenix airport
Driver gets stuck on flooded street
Mesa Fire and Medical rescue in Apache Junction
Apache Junction flooding
Monsoon weather in downtown phoenix
Rain in Phoenix
Flooded street in Apache Junction
San Tan Heights flooding
Wash floods in San Tan Valley
Water rescue Mesa
Rain and rushing water in east Mesa
Ensenada Park in east Mesa
Rain soaks Mesa neighborhood
Dust storm moves toward the Phoenix area
Monsoon storm in Phoenix
Pouring rain at Power and Brown roads in east Mesa July 20, 2017
Riding out a monsoon windstorm in Phoenix
Images from Friday’s Phoenix-area storm
Monsoon storm approaches in far West Valley
Time-lapse of monsoon storm thunderhead building over Carefree
Time-lapse view of monsoon storm from Broadway curve in Phoenix
Storm downs tree in Gold Canyon
Watch a dust storm move across the East Valley
Monsoon rains hit far West Valley
Clouds form over Mount Lemmon
Downtown Phoenix, July 15, 2017
Surprise/Waddell monsoon storm
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