Here's something you don't see every day. Photographer Trish Gregory captured these images of a cold-air funnel Sunday along Highway 450 between Newcastle and Wright, about five miles east of School Creek Road.

Day Weather Meteorologist Don Day says cold-air funnels, which occur in the colder seasons of spring and fall, happen more often than we think but because they don't last long they're harder to spot.

"Anytime you get a shower or a thunderstorm there's always some type of circulation going on, counter clock-wise," Day explained, "and you'll have in these moist spring environments a weak shower or a thunderstorm, to where you actually have enough moisture between the ground and the base of the cloud to show these spinning motions."

Day said they look a lot like tornadoes but occur during the colder seasons. "You get a column of spinning moist air that actually drops from the base of the cloud.  What's different about a cold air funnel as compared to a tornado is that there's much more structure above the base of the cloud, a lot more rotation, a lot more strength that can spin up a tornado.

"A cold air funnel could cause some gusty winds, move things around a little bit, but they tend to be very short-lived but they can take on the shape of a funnel cloud or tornado."

Photo by Trish Gregory
Photo by Trish Gregory

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