|WHAT IS A COLD AIR FUNNEL?
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
A cold air funnel is a high based weak circulation that occurs in a cool air mass. By high based it is meant it
develops well above the earth's surface. Since it is high based and weak they rarely impact the earth's surface although
they can look threatening. Unlike typical
tornadoes, cold air funnels develop in a shallow cool air mass and often behind
a cold frontal passage. The mixing of cool and windy conditions in the lower troposphere with air in the middle
troposphere flowing in a different direction may spark the rotation that spins up the funnel. If the air is moist
enough and rises enough the condensation funnel will be visible. The image below gives an idea to what these cold
air funnels look like.