July 17, 2014: Cold Air Funnel Sighted Near Grand Island/Hastings

A cold air funnel was spotted by numerous observers Thursday afternoon July 17, 2014, around 330 pm and lasted for at least 15 minutes. The funnel was located south of Grand Island and north of Hastings and was observed from both cities as well as from Doniphan, Hansen, and Prosser. Cold air funnels very rarely make contact with the ground and that was believed to be the case with this funnel. Cold air funnels are not associated with strong thunderstorms, but are usually reported within or near showers or very weak thunderstorms. In this case there was not even any rainfall associated with the cumulus cloud that produced the cold air funnel. The unseasonably cool air aloft for this time of year played a part in making the funnel possible. Cold air funnels form as the updraft of a cumulus cloud, shower, or very weak thunderstorm stretches small pre-existing areas of rotation into funnels, similar to a landspout. Cold air funnels usually last for only a short period of time, although this one lasted longer than most, and they normally do not come in contact with the ground. These funnels typically pose no threat to public safety. If they do touch down, it is usually for a very brief period and the damage is relatively minor. Reports of the 7-17-14 cold air funnel have indicated that this funnel never made contact with the ground.

Image Above: Photo of cold air funnel taken from near St Francis Medical Center in Grand Island. Picture taken by Travis Klanecky. This was when the funnel was at it's greatest extent and nearest the ground.

Image Above: Photo of the cold air funnel taken from the National Weather Service office located on the north side of Hastings. Photo taken by Jeremy Wesely

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