Watch: 'Gustnado' wreaks havoc at Portland baseball field
A kids' baseball game turned into a whirlwind experience when a gustnado swirled across the field, damaging a dugout and sending children and coaches scrambling for safety.
TIGARD, Ore. -- A kids' Little League baseball game turned into a whirlwind experience when a gustnado swirled across the field, damaging a dugout and sending children and coaches scrambling for safety.
The event happened just after 6 p.m at Cook Park in Tigard, Oregon Saturday, according to photographer Jared Ravich. Video shows strong winds ripping the roof off a dugout, sending it airborne and landing along the first base line.
"Our Little League game wrapped up a few minutes early for the first time all season and it was a good thing because moments after it ended, the wind picked up and the first base (dugout) roof was up in the air," Ravich told FOX Weather. The plastic sheeting under the corrugated metal ended up high in the fir trees beyond right-center field.
He says the winds began on an adjacent field where his son had a practice.
"The wind started over there first and knocked down their hitting nets," he said. "The whole team dropped to the ground in center field."
Luckily no one was injured.
Not a Tornado, but a Gustnado
It may have looked like a small tornado, but National Weather Service forecasters in Portland later determined the storm was likely a "gustnado."
"A gustnado is a small whirlwind which forms as an eddy in thunderstorm or shower outflows," NWS Portland forecasters tweeted. "They do not connect with any cloud-base rotation and are NOT tornadoes. They can cause damage though."
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Forecasters said there was no funnel cloud or signs the rotation was connected to a cloud base, ruling out a tornado. Dust devils need hot and dry sunny days to bring a difference in heating along the surface.
"Today was not a hot, dry, sunny day. We can rule out dust devil and we are left with our last option, a gustnado," NWS forecasters wrote.
3 Strikes, You're…Safe?
As mentioned earlier, Ravich said the game ended a little earlier for the first time all season, meaning no one was in the dugout when the gustnado struck.
They may have one of their pitchers to thank.
Ravich said their 5th inning pitcher wasn't scheduled to pitch the 6th and final inning, but asked to be left in as he needed a confidence boost.
Then he went out there and quickly struck out the side to end the game early.