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Funnel clouds spotted across Western Wisconsin

Storms formed Friday afternoon across the Chippewa Valley, and they moved slowly. As such, their main threat was heavy rain and localized flooding.

However, funnel clouds have been reported with these storms, but the Stormtracker 18 Weather Team says in this environment, weakly rotating funnel clouds can form but rarely make it to the ground. If they do, they are extremely weak and short-lived.

News 18 has received several pictures of these funnels from the storm near Barron. Of course, that area has had more than their fair share of severe storms over the past few years, so it’s normal to become alarmed when seeing these funnels.

According to WQOW Meteorologists, these storms are of the pop-up variety, and they do not have the necessary wind speeds in the upper atmosphere to sustain storms, cause them to gain strength, and produce the necessary rotation for tornadoes to form.

Thus, any funnel clouds you see are usually harmless. Skywarn certified storm spotters should monitor them in case they do become a threat, but again the vast majority of these don’t become an issue.

Courtesy: Tim Werth (News 18 Weather Tracker)
Courtesy: Tyler Skjerly

Matt Schaefer

Matt Schaefer was promoted to Chief Meteorologist in July of 2019 and has been our evening meteorologist for News 18 since June of 2016. Prior to that, he was our Saturday meteorologist starting in September 2014.

Matt was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He enjoys all the extremes that mother nature throws at the Badger State: from severe thunderstorms to blizzards to subzero temperatures.

Matt studied meteorology in the Midwest as well, earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in Indiana. There, Matt was heavily involved in VUTV Weather, the Valpo student chapter of AMS/NWA, and VUSIT (Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team). He’s logged more than 20,000 miles chasing and studying severe storms all across the country and witnessed nine tornadoes including six in one day!

Matt describes himself as a Wisconsin boy at heart and enjoys cheering for the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and Admirals just to name a few. He loves simply being outdoors and enjoys the Wisconsin wilderness especially in fall, and whitetail deer season!

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