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A Rare Tornado... From That?

Updated: 06/06/2013 12:42 AM
Created: 06/05/2013 11:18 PM KSTP.com

Indeed, a tornado came from that... that speck of a shower in northern Dodge county around 5:40 to 5:45 this evening.



Today's setup was typical for a phenomenon called Cold Air Funnels to form with cold air aloft, a boundary to spark weak showers, and weak wind that changes direction with height.  The funnels form just as any other funnel would, a rolling spine of air that becomes oriented vertically due to wind shear (rotating wind direction with height).  Warmer air from the surface rises through the rotating column condenses, making it visible.

Rarely do Cold Air Funnels ever become a tornado, usually due to their high cloud base above the ground, brief lifespan and non-energetic, weak nature.  They are also extremely difficult to predict by meteorologists as well.  As a result, Tornado warnings are rarely issued for this phenomenon.  But in today's instance, a tornado did form, shown below, captured by Jim Armstrong.



Thankfully, the tornado was brief and weak.  No damage has been reported.


For more information on Cold Air Funnels... Check out the following links

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/iln/Gallery/Thunderstorms/storm16.html
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/ilx/pdf/summer09logs.pdf - Page 3
http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/329/

Storm Tracker 6 Chief Meteorologist
Chris Kuball