VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Strong storms rolled through Central Florida Saturday bringing wind, hail and torrential rain. The storms also brought very ominous clouds to parts of the Sunshine State.
Several pictures came in to News 6 from western Volusia County that had the appearance of funnel clouds or tornadoes. The pictures from Orange City, however, were harmless scud clouds.
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Scud clouds are jagged, low-cloud fragments that are not attached to the main, larger cloud base. This scud was likely being pulled into the wall cloud by the updraft of the thunderstorm. The jagged clouds oftentimes look like a funnel cloud or even a tornado.
A wall cloud is a localized, persistent, often abrupt lowering cloud from a rain-free base. If rotating, this cloud type usually is precursor to tornadoes.
Another picture from Deltona submitted on PinIt looks even more like a funnel cloud. In reality this is likely a “beaver tail” cloud .
These clouds form as a result of air being cooled as it gets pulled into the updraft of the thunderstorm. They do not rotate like a funnel or tornado would, but can look very similar in pictures and a quick glance.
In both cases, broad, mid-level rotation was observed on radar. The atmosphere was thankfully lacking a couple of key ingredients to aid in the broad rotation several thousand feet above the surface that could consolidate and get closer to the ground to produce a funnel or tornado.
No funnels or tornadoes were officially reported in Central Florida on Saturday.