False Funnel & T-Storms/Cold Front

***Watch WISN 12 News at 5, 6, & 10 p.m. for the latest radar updates!***

Thank you for stopping by the Weather Watch 12 blog!  In today’s blog we will discuss the chance of thunderstorms with a passing cold front, discuss severe weather chances, and also look at a ‘funnel’ cloud from Tuesday evening.

Let’s start with the ‘funnel’ cloud because this is very important.  Tuesday afternoon at 3:53 p.m. a thunderstorm was just west of Waupun in Dodge County.  Local law enforcement called in a report to the National Weather Service of a ‘funnel’ cloud.  The NWS then forwarded this report and made it available to the media and public. 

As a Meteorologist, you always want to pass along this information to viewers, but first you have to do a couple of quick checks to verify if the report is legitimate.  Mark Baden and myself first looked at the radar again, checked the velocity(to see if there was rotation with the storm).  After another quick analysis we thought it would be very difficult for this storm to produce a funnel.

Then, Tuesday evening we received this picture from an experienced storm chaser – Doug Raflik – who was near the Waupun storm within a minute or two of the funnel report.  The report of the funnel, as you can see by the picture below, was very likely a rain shaft and NOT a funnel.

 

The National Weather Service always says, if you are in doubt, please don’t report a funnel or tornado.  There must be rotation for either to occur.  Storm chasing is not easy, and sometimes cloud features and rain shafts can LOOK like funnels or tornadoes.  

For Wednesday afternoon, more thunderstorms are expected across the region.  With a passing cold front nearby, and lots of moisture available, one or two storm may be strong to severe.  While no widespread severe weather outbreak is anticipated, we will watch this very closely! 

Below is the severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center.

The area that says ‘see text’ is over our viewing area.  Here is the text that the SPC included for our area.

SIMILAR REGIME TO TX EXISTS NEAR THE RESIDUAL FRONTAL ZONE FROM
   KS/NEB TO IL/WI. MCV OVER NEB/KS ATTM MAY PROVIDE THE IMPETUS FOR
   MARGINALLY ORGANIZED STORMS…PERHAPS IN CLUSTERS OR BANDS…CAPABLE
   OF LOCALLY DAMAGING WINDS AND PERHAPS SOME HAIL. ANOTHER
   CONCENTRATED AREA OF DEVELOPMENT IN WEAKLY SHEARED FLOW MAY EVOLVE
   ON THE WRN SHORE OF LAKE MI WHERE OLD FRONT WILL MERGE WITH LAKE
   BREEZE DURING PERIOD OF PEAK DESTABILIZATION.

Where the lake breeze sets up, along with the timing of the cold front will go a long way as to where any possible severe weather may develop.  The main concern with the thunderstorms today would be hail, gusty winds, and heavy downpours.  One thing to note, when I was chasing for our 5/6pm newscasts yesterday, north of Oconomowoc there were two soccer fields filled with kids.  A thunderstorm was just a couple of miles away.  If you hear thunder, please move indoors or get in your vehicle!

Remember, when thunderstorms develop there are many ways to stay up-to-date with our forecasts, storm updates, and radar!

  • Interactive Radar www.wisn.com/irad
  • Facebook: WeatherWatch 12
  • Twitter: WISN12News
  • WISN 12 News 5, 6, & 10pm

If you have a storm related picture or storm report please post it to the comments section of WISN.com or email it to mbaden@hearst.com or jdnelson@hearst.com

Have a great day and check back all day for the updates!

Jeremy Nelson

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2 Responses

  1. Goodness, that doesn’t even look like a funnel to me!

    • Just a cool looking rain shaft. About to go out ‘storm’ chasing. Maybe more rain chasing today. We’ll see what happens. Jeremy

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