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Rare Egyptian Tornado

EGYPTIAN TORNADO: Yesterday at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt, astronomer Aymen Ibrahem dashed outside during a rainstorm "hoping to photograph a rainbow." Instead he found himself face-to-face with a rare Egyptian tornado:

"The last tornado in this part of Egypt happened in 1981," says Ibrahem.

Strong tornadoes are born in rotating thunderstorms called supercells. To make a supercell, you need a cold, dry mass of polar air crashing into a warm, moist mass of tropical air. These two kinds of air frequently meet in the mid-section of the United States--hence Tornado Alley. But they rarely meet in Egypt.
Indeed, there was no supercell over Alexandria yesterday. The twister Ibrahem saw was probably a lesser form of tornado called a "funnel cloud," which didn't even reach the ground.

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