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Weak funnel cloud. Picture from Shawna Korinek. 08/01/2014

Weak Funnel Clouds

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These pictures taken eight miles south of Breckinridge, MN, this afternoon show a very weak, horizontal funnel cloud in association with a cloud that wasn't even producing rain.  These sorts of funnel clouds are  never dangerous and cannot turn into destructive tornadoes.  Air has a natural tendency to rotate in the atmosphere and humidity has a tendency, under the right conditions, to condense into droplets.  Sometimes, with just the right conditions, it is possible to see weakly rotating funnel clouds that are not even associated with a shower.  It is merely a column of air with enough moisture condensation to produce a visibly rotating funnel.  This kind of funnel cloud does cannot turn into an actual tornado and poses no danger whatsoever.  Meteorologist John Wheeler

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John Wheeler
John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.
(701) 241-5387
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