‘Cold Air Funnel’ Clouds Look Like Tornadoes…But Aren’t

They’re called “cold air” funnel clouds. They look like tornadoes, but they’re not.

Todd Kluber is with National Weather Service in Marquette tells us the difference.

“With this environment and a little bit cooler air, and these showers quickly develop,” he said, “the air that’s rising pretty quickly underneath the showers kind of taps into the winds that are just right to get a little bit of the rotation that you would normally see with a funnel. But that wind set-up and how these showers are forming is well off of the ground. And the winds that what would normally be conducive for tornado development are not present at the ground. So, we don’t ever expect that these will ever reach the ground.”

One of these cold air funnel clouds was reported to Marquette County Central Dispatch yesterday in Forsyth Township…but, again, Kluber says these clouds are harmless. He says that once in a while, one of these does make it to the ground, but all you will get is a brief moment of gusty winds.

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