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Feared funnel cloud just a rain shaft, experts conclude
« on: July 25, 2018, 09:02:29 AM »
Feared funnel cloud just a rain shaft, experts conclude

During Monday night’s deluge, Ottawa weather-watchers spotted what looked like a funnel cloud, which can become a tornado. Thankfully it was likely just what’s known as a “rain shaft” – a common phenomenon but one that we rarely get to see from just the right perspective. Gerald Cheng, acting warning preparedness meteorologist at Environment and Climate […]

During Monday night’s deluge, Ottawa weather-watchers spotted what looked like a funnel cloud, which can become a tornado.


Thankfully it was likely just what’s known as a “rain shaft” – a common phenomenon but one that we rarely get to see from just the right perspective.


Gerald Cheng, acting warning preparedness meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, looked at a local video shared on social media and had some experienced forecasters watch it, too.


“They all seem to think that it’s a rain shaft (a column of rain), rather than a funnel cloud, although it’s understandable why people would think that,” Cheng said.


“Whenever there are showers, it’s always possible to see them.  It’s just that one has to be at a vantage point with no rain looking at the cloud that is producing rain below it.”


Not that funnel clouds are unknown in Ottawa.


One was captured over Gatineau last May in a video viewed on Facebook more than 40,000 times.


Last September, Environment Canada warned that conditions were ripe for them to develop with the arrival of a cool and unstable air mass and that there was a risk they could turn into a “weak landspout tornado.”


Ottawans were warned to take any funnel cloud sighting seriously and seek shelter.





 





 


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