July 18, 2013

'Funnel' cloud spotted Saturday

By Carol Mills
Staff Writer


What appeared to be a funnel cloud in Laurel County was spotted by several people around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Joe McQueen saw the funnel cloud from his brother’s yard on Waterworks Road.

“It was about 3 o’clock on Saturday,” McQueen said. “We we’re there on Waterworks Road in my brother’s yard and I heard that siren going off in town. I told my wife to listen to the scanner to find out what was going on. She said a tornado or something had been spotted. I came out and saw that cloud. It didn’t start spinning, but it was getting close (to spinning). I thought it would start pulling stuff, but it didn’t. It just lifted up and went away.”

The Jackson National Weather Service said it was not a funnel cloud.

“From everything I can tell, it was not a funnel cloud,” Meteorologist Tony Edwards said. “There’s a lot of look-a-likes out there and sometimes they can fool you. I wasn’t there and I didn’t see it. I wasn’t even at work on Saturday, but I did see the pictures on Twitter. It looked like a scud cloud to me. A funnel cloud rotates. You’re going to see rotation all the way up into the cloud. A lot of people see scud clouds, which hang down and are kind of low. They look like a funnel cloud rotating. I think that’s what was going on.”

A scud is nothing but a scary-looking cloud, a low-hanging cloud in the atmosphere which moves along, Edwards said.

“We got reports of people seeing a funnel cloud,” he said. “There was a storm so we went ahead and issued a tornado warning to be safe from all the reports we were getting. We did have some wind damage in Rockcastle County from straight line wind damage. There was a storm up to the north and the outflow from it kind of created the cloud that threw everybody for a loop.”

There was a storm in Laurel County early on Saturday morning, but it was a storm in Rockcastle County that afternoon that flowed southward and caused the scud.