Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another week of The Weather with Connor. This week I’d like to talk about something that I saw back on April 24th, which was a day that had many pretty rain showers making their way through Eastern Ontario. What I saw was extremely unexpected though.
Naturally, when there’s pretty clouds around, I’m out to take a peek at them. That actually wasn’t the case in this scenario though, I was just out doing some errands on a Monday night without my cameras in the vehicle.
I’m on my way to Casselman to get some groceries. For the entire drive, I am looking around at the pretty landscape, with the sun close to setting and rain showers around. I am getting on HWY 417 off HWY 138, when I look over to my left and see a cute little funnel cloud beginning to dip down out of the cloud base of a small rain shower. Astounded at what I’m seeing, I pull over on the side of the on-ramp.
First of all, I was shocked at what I was seeing. It was 7 degrees out at the time, usually way too cold for anything of this nature to happen. This shower had other ideas though, and decided to just straight up disobey the weather conditions at the time.
I pull out my phone and snap a few quick photos, and start posting it on my social media accounts. My comments were from people who were just as shocked as I was, and many who were confused about how this could happen when it’s cold outside. Because of all the confusion, I decided to explain it in this week’s column.
This type of funnel cloud is one called a cold core funnel cloud. These form in different conditions than a regular funnel and/or tornado would. In a cold core funnel case, the air mass is much cooler and benign, but the air aloft is unusually cold. A regular funnel would form in a much warmer air mass in an energetic environment.
So anyway, I sat on the side of the highway watching this cold core funnel cloud dance around the sky for a good 2 or 3 minutes. After that, it started to evaporate. It did not touch down and become a tornado, which is the usual outcome for a cold core funnel. They almost always do not touch down, and even if they do, they are much, much weaker than a regular tornado.
This was a nice little warm-up for the upcoming 2023 chase season. I am always down for some random weather shenanigans where I see a totally random funnel cloud when it’s 7 degrees outside. I’m excited to finally get this spring over with and start the summer. I think it will be an active season for Eastern Ontario, with lots of good storms to see, which also means there will be lots of storms for me to go out and chase.
Chasing doesn’t seem like it will be happening anytime soon, though. We’re stuck in this pattern of chillier temperatures with cloudier and rainy conditions. I expect that to change about halfway through May, and then it’ll get warmer.
That will do it for this week’s column. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you in a couple weeks!