Cold air funnel over Harper County! (4/29/2010)

By: NWS Wichita

Cold Air Funnel over Harper County


The picture above was taken by Nikki Hightree near Anthony Kansas on Saturday April 24th. This is great example of what is often called a "cold air funnel". Typical tornado development occurs in environments with warm surface temperatures with plenty of low level moisture along with strong wind shear. The warm surface temps and low level moisture are needed for instability.

Instability is also needed for cold air funnels, however the instability in these cases are obtained by very cold mid and upper level air. With the mid and upper levels much colder, the surface temps do not need to be nearly as high to produce enough instability to develop a funnel.

The image below shows the cold pocket of air at 500mb which helped provide the instability to produce the cold air funnel.


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