Benign cold-air funnel clouds possible today

Photo of cold air funnel
Photo from NWS website

Meteorologists expressed a growing concern for cold-air funnel clouds this afternoon, in an area forecast discussion (AFD) the northern Indiana National Weather Service (NWS) office issued at 10:34 a.m. EDT. As always, the chances of any such funnels reaching the ground are very small, but they can cause concern among the untrained public. Read more about cold air funnels on the website of the Wilimington, Ohio NWS office.

Meanwhile, the AFD indicates that meteorologists continue to expect a short-lived severe weather threat from 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. EDT today, especially in the eastern half of the 37-county area covered by the northern Indiana NWS office (see map below). Straight-line winds will be the primary threat. Small hail is likely, but atmospheric instability is weak, so the threat of hail reaching severe criteria is very limited.

northern Indiana NWS forecast area map
Light-colored area: Forecast area of northern Indiana NWS office.

An isolated supercell thunderstorm is possible in the southeastern portion of the northern Indiana NWS office’s forecast area (e.g. Blackford, Jay and Adams Counties in Indiana and Van Wert and Allen Counties in Ohio). If such a storm forms, it would increase the risk of large hail and could create a brief threat of a tornado. But the threat of a supercell depends on sufficient atmospheric instability occurring.