The only difference between adventure and disaster is preparedness.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Possibility for Cold Core Funnel Clouds

Just got a notice from the Portland National Weather Service that our area has the possibility of seeing some cold core funnels clouds later today.  So....just what is a cold core funnel cloud?  If it was up to me it would be a light and flaky funnel cake with ice cream in the middle.  But, like most things, it's not up to me. 

The super-smarty-pants definition is:
A cold core funnel is a vertically tilted rotating column of air under a rapidly growing convective cloud, but the atmospheric conditions are different than those conditions that produce typical funnel clouds or tornadoes. A cold core environment exists when low pressure is vertically stacked from the surface to 500 mb and is bounded by an area with a 700 mb temperature equal to or colder than +1C.

The more relatable answer is:  it's basically a weak and short-lived tornado that never touches the ground.

So, keep your eyes out for weird clouds and heavy rain today.  Should you see a cold core funnel cloud, your best bet is to back away slowly, avoid eye contact and speak quietly.  No, wait.  That's if you see a bear.

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