Thursday, March 22, 2012
At around 5:00 p.m., reports came in of funnel clouds being sighted from west Wichita to the Cheney and Harper Areas.
The clouds looked ominous, but these small cold air funnels do not usually pose a threat, nor do they usually touch the ground.
Cold air funnels are usually associated with clouds in the wake of a cold front, where instability and moisture would support high cumulus clouds but not rain. The mixing of colder air flowing in different directions in the lower and middle troposphere causes a horizontal rotation, which can be deflected vertically, resulting in a funnel.
Photo courtesy of Storm Chaser Ted Thomason