LANGSTON, Ala. (WHNT)– WHNT News 19 viewer Angela Stone shared a picture of what appears to be what is known as a tropical funnel in the sky over Langston.
The picture was taken while intense storms were in the area Saturday evening.
Tropical funnels do not pose the same risk as funnel clouds or tornadoes. The funnels generally take place in tropical environments, like we had in place in the Tennessee Valley all weekend.
Tropical funnels are not the same as funnel clouds that form from supercell thunderstorms; tropical funnels form in warm, moist enivornments with very little wind shear.
In contrast to funnel clouds, tropical funnels rarely make contact with the ground. If they do reach the ground, the National Weather Service says they are known to cause winds up to 70 miles per hour.
Tropical funnels typically do not last for more than a few minutes. Angela estimates that the funnel pictured above lasted less than five minutes before dissipating.