Possible funnel/tornado on 5/23/04

This image is captured from video I took on May 23, 2004, shortly after penny size hail fell on my house. Notice the cloud appendage hanging into the tree line. It made my pulse rate increase, but I couldn't tell for sure if it or the cloud around it was rotating. What is the opinion of you experienced chasers? Was this just scud or some other benign cloud finger, or might it have actually been a funnel/tornado? (A brief F0 was confirmed by the NWS in the general vicinity at the approximate time, but I cannot be sure).


If it helps, here's my page about the day with more images of the storm: http://sphs.angeltowns.net/insanity/chases/052304.html
Impossible to ascertain rotation from a still image, but there does seem to be some evidence of an RFD on the left of the "thing." Also appears to be some chunks of scud to the right, which might be indicative of inflow.
I love doing forensics on storm footage even with my limited knowledge. It seems that most midwest chases result in a little bit of that afterwards :wink:

Anyway, I've tried to break this image up and make sense of what is happening here. I circled the RFD Shane pointed out. And next to it is what might be a wall cloud? And a very scudly tail cloud. But overwall the structure is very grungy. Correct me if I'm off my labeling.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.drugrecognition.com/temp/diag1.jpg

On the main image I've circled where the FFD and precip core should be. Yet this region is clear. Which way were you facing, Andy? That information would help considerably on diagnosing this one.

I heavily contrast enhanced this blow up. I ran a line over what may or may not be the cloud line. That funnel in question definitely is not diffuse but it also looks rather ragged on the bottom like the rest of the scud to the right.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.drugrecognition.com/temp/diag2.jpg

Anyway, with just this shot and at that resolution its probably going to be impossible to tell. But perhaps this sheds some new/interesting light on the topic? That could very well be the F0 NWS reported... or it could be scud and that F0 never had a cloud pendent funnel associated with it.
Wow, that is an awesome "dissection", Skip! Thank you so much for doing that.

The precip core appears to be missing possibly because it had just passed overhead. This is what I saw a few minutes before the image with the possible funnel was taken: http://sphs.angeltowns.net/movies/Hail.wmv

The image was looking toward the east-southeast or southeast shortly after the hail stopped, and shortly after the storm had been tornado-warned for the first time.

Here's the NWS Storm Data entry that shows a brief F0 in that direction (my house is about a mile and a half northeast of Stoughton, WI, and the tornado started 3.3 miles east-southeast of Stoughton).

3.3 ESE Stoughton to 3.8 WNW Albion Dane County Tornado (F0)

An advanced spotter videotaped a tornado that briefly spun up at 1755 CST, 3.3 miles east-southeast of Stoughton (Dane Co.), and dissipated at 1756 CST, 3.8 miles west-northwest of Albion (Dane Co.). The tornado's path was only a mile long and the width was about 25 yards. No damage was reported and this tornado was deemed an F0. The average path width was about 25 yards.

I've uploaded a video clip that includes the original frame capture. I panned across the area with the "appendage", but didn't even notice it until I was reviewing video later. Then I jumped and went "Oh crap, why in the world didn't I zoom in on that?" :oops:


As for the "UFO", that would be a large bird, which you can see flying across the picture in the video.

A couple months ago I emailed the NWS requesting if they could possibly capture some stills from that spotter's video and email them to me, 'cause having known pictures of the tornado might help. However they have not replied.