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.