San Antonio Rain Column, Dust Devil, Funnel Cloud, Tornado?

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Randy Jennings, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Randy Jennings

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    San Antonio, TX (KENS) - "As more rain made its way through San Antonio on Saturday, several KENS 5 eyewitnesses passed along photos and videos of what appears to be a funnel cloud or rain column."

    Video and full story at: http://www.kens5.com/weather/possiblle-funnel-cloud-spotted-in-san-antonio/457059942

    They is some debate as to what this was. The text to the story says it wasn't rotating so it "definitely wasn't a tornado." The on-air meteorologist says it "wasn't on the ground" and it sounds like he thinks it was a funnel cloud (which seems like it would be rotating to me). The meteorologist also offers other theories from to dust devil to rain column. None of the videos are that great - so it is hard to tell. I will also say that there could be debate as to if it was on the ground or not. Regardless of what it is - it is cool.

    Let the discussion begin - what do you think it was?
     
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  2. Jamie G Cox

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    It certainly appears to be on the ground. Where it's coming from doesn't look like something that would drop a funnel or tornado though. I would guess dust devil, but I'm the last person on here that would know the right answer lol.
     
  3. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    It looks very much like a dust devil. A funnel cloud would have a reversed vertical gradient in visual density. Also, there didn't appear to be much in the way of broad, deep convective cloud development above the feature, which makes it even less likely to be anything tornadic or pre-tornadic.

    Honestly I feel like that on-air meteorologist failed in his job. He should know better than that.
     
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  4. Greg Flint

    Greg Flint Member

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    it was definitely on the ground, you can see from the second video visual motion at the lowest point.
     
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  5. Randy Jennings

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    I was thinking the same thing, just didn't have the guts to say it the first time. His tweet (https://twitter.com/JaredKENS5/status/886361726224084995/photo/1)made no sense: "Been getting tons of pics on this cloud near the SA airport. No rotation, it's not a tornado, but could be a funnel cloud or a rain column."

    I'll agree it's not a tornado. But if there is no rotation - it can't be a funnel cloud either. It looks like it was on the ground to me. My bet is there is rotation and that it is a dust devil. As Jeff noted, there really isn't much to the clouds above it. If it is a rain column, it looks like none that I have ever seen. It seems too raged to be a shaft of light thru the clouds. I don' think it is a hail shaft either, as once again there isn't much to the cloud structure above it (I've also never seen a hail shaft that narrow - I'd be curious to know if anyone has).
     
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  6. Darren Lo

    Darren Lo Member

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    It looks a lot like spray is being kicked up at the base of the whatever-it-is, too. I would personally vote that it was a devil.
     
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  7. John Farley

    John Farley Member

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    I agree with dust devil. I think it is quite a bit closer than the convective clouds behind it. In other words, the clouds were not above it. But a dust devil by definition is on the ground and rotating, so I also agree that the TV met's tweet was a fail.
     
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