St. Ignatius, Montana — A funnel cloud was spotted in the Mission Valley this evening at about 5:30. A pretty amazing view! But what’s the difference between a tornado, landspout, and a funnel cloud? Good inquiries!
This is the primary distinction between a tornado and a funnel cloud. While a tornado interacts with the earth in some way, a funnel cloud does not come into touch with it.
A funnel cloud won’t touch the earth, but once it does, it instantly transforms into a tornado.
Debris from the ground being carried aloft or dust movement on the ground are typical indicators of this interaction with the ground.
Supercell tornadoes are not land spouts. They essentially take the shape of little funnels while the thunderstorm cloud is still expanding and without a rotating updraft. The majority of the rotation avoids or deals little damage to the ground.
In this instance, the funnel cloud does not seem to touch down, maintaining its funnel-like nature. However, according to some claims from spectators, it actually touched down and became a tornado.
National Weather Service personnel frequently drive to the area to assess the situation and determine whether it actually touched down. If the National Weather Service drives to the scene on Wednesday, we’ll provide updates on this.
In any case, the Mission Valley weather scene is quite stunning!