Cold air funnels possible Friday

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Updated: .
Chuck Lofton

Our May weather continues and it will be chilly and damp today. Look for a high in the low 50s today, the low 60s Saturday and a return to good weather next week.

The cooler than air lingers into the weekend though it will be a little warmer day by day. Cold air funnel clouds are possible Friday.

Generally funnel clouds develop and occur in conjunction with conditions that produce severe thunderstorms. An entirely different condition prevails across central Indiana today, according to the National Weather Service. There is little potential for severe thunderstorms.

Research studies of funnel cloud occurrences indicate that a different type of funnel cloud forms when weather conditions are similar to those of today. These are called cold air funnels and are not as violent as those associated with warm and humid conditions.

Cold air funnels are associated with thunderstorms that form in deep, cold-core, large-scale low pressure systems. These funnel clouds are smooth and narrow. Their parent thunderstorms are not particularly tall or intense. These funnel clouds normally protrude a few hundred feet downward from the parent clouds, rotate or spin like a top and last a few minutes before dissipating.

In rare cases when their circulations do reach the ground cold air funnels cause only minor damage. More reports of small funnel clouds are possible over central Indiana today. Warnings will be issued if any of them touch the ground.

Near record lows and areas of frost are possible Saturday morning as lows drop into the mid and upper 30s area-wide.

Though Saturday may begin with sun, we fully expect a cumulus cloud deck to quickly build and isolated showers/sprinkles are possible during the afternoon. It will be a very cool day for qualifying for the 98th running of the Indy 500 at the Speedway. Look for track temperatures to only be in the 70s Saturday.

Sunday will be brighter and milder with highs well into the 60s. A pleasant warming trend still looks on target next week and highs eventually soar into the middle 80s next Thursday.


1990 : Wave after wave of thunderstorms dumped up to 8 inches of rain in southern Indiana eventually causing extensive flooding of the White and Wabash rivers.