A Funnel Cloud This Morning

May 10, 2010

It looks like Lori Summers caught a funnel cloud on camera this morning in the Willamette Valley.  She was travelling on French Prairie road between Brooks and Woodburn east of I-5 and saw it hanging out of the cloud.

So how do you know if it’s really a funnel cloud and not just a regular, but funny looking segment of fog/cloud?  Always look for rotation.  The actual “funnel” is the result of lowering pressure in the spinning column.  That allows the moist air to condense into a spinning “cloud”.  Of course we don’t all walk/drive around with camcorders, but we sure do get a lot more of these pictures recently with all the fancy new phones that can take good quality photos and video.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen