Funnel Clouds Spotted Near GI/Hastings were Cold Air Funnels


It's not a twister Auntie Em! Strange clouds prompted 911 calls in the Grand Island and Hastings area Thursday afternoon, but there was no tornado, only a cold air funnel.

It was first reported to NTV at 3:20 p.m. and lasted around a half-hour. It was between Grand Island and Hastings, and visible not only from both cities but also Doniphan, Hansen, Giltner, and Prosser, based on reports to NTV and to the National Weather Service office in Hastings.

Many took to social media, to question if a tornado was coming. While it was an unusual sighting, it was not dangerous.

The NWS says, "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."

NTV's Chief Forecaster Kent Boughton said they are usually harmless and rarely touch down. There are no reports this funnel touched down or did any damage.

The cold air funnels are similar to a landspout. They last only a short period of time, although this one lasted longer than most.