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YouTube video shows Richmond tornado, experts dubious

A  video posted on YouTube Tuesday night appears to show a tornado touching down in Richmond, B.C.

The 63-second video shows a long, spinning, narrow vortex reaching down from a relatively clear sky, with high clouds, touching down on land in a sandy area, next to trees and what appears to be a rural area of Richmond.

But experts reached by The Richmond Review were skeptical, because the type of weather seen recently doesn't support this type of phenomenon.

University of B.C. associate professor Philip Austin questioned whether the video was somehow doctored.

"It's really unusual. It just looks otherworldly, that's for sure."

What raises his alarm bells is the lack of overhead cloud, which would have to be there to spawn something like this.

Andre Besson, operational meteorologist for Environment Canada, was equally skeptical.

"It's extremely unusual. It's never happened here (Lower Mainland)," said Besson, a meteorologist for the past nine years. "The only tornado case I can think of was in Cranbrook."

Besson said conditions over the past week would not have been conducive to cause this type of weather phenomenon.

"We've had no reports whatsoever of a severe convection. Usually those types of events are associated with moderate to severe convection. I'm skeptical at this point."

While the video, by Timber7500, was posted on Tuesday, June 12, it doesn't indicate the date the video was originally shot, or in what area of Richmond.

In January, a funnel cloud was spotted above the water west of Richmond.

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