Meteorology and Weather
Tornadoes
Clouds

What is a funnel cloud?

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2015-04-23 10:17:54

A funnel cloud is a tapered, rotating cloud created by

convection and conflicting wind directions. If it reaches the

surface, it becomes a tornado, or a waterspout, but only a small

minority of funnel clouds become tornadoes.

Funnel clouds can also indicate weak tornadoes that don't have a

visible portion reaching the ground. A destructive tornado could

look like a funnel cloud if the air is unusually dry, preventing

the formation of cloud material all the way to the ground. In this

case, spinning debris would be the only indication of destructive

winds.

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A funnel cloud is a tornado that's either in the air so you can

see in it or it's trying to make a tornado or water spout.


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