Looks like it could be a funnel cloud, right? Well...kind of. Obviously, yesterday there was not a threat of severe weather or tornadoes, but yet this little guy showed up. There are two suggestions here...either a contrail, which is those streaks you sometimes see in the sky after a plane fliesover or what we call a "cold air funnel."
The closest phenomena a cold air funnel can relate to is a waterspout. Normally, you'll see these form when a "cold-core" low pressure system is moving overhead. While that wasn't the case yesterday, here's the best of explanations if it was one. At the surface, last evening, we had light northeast winds adding in some cool air...however, at the same time, in the upper-levels of the atmosphere there were slightly warmer west to southwest winds. Mix that in with the bit of sunshine we had peeking through the clouds, and that looks to have given us that little bit of spinning condensation. I will say, however, of all the cold air funnels I've seen and documented, they are usually much skinner than what you see in the pictures.
Long story short, cold air funnel rarely ever touch down, and if they do, are not dangerous simply because they hardly even match up to the winds in a dust devil. So really, what we saw yesterday was more of a neat picture opportunity than reason for worry!
Want to thank Stacey for sending in these interesting pictures...and of course if you have weather pictures, we'd love to see them. You can send them in to our Eye on You section, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and of course tweet them our way to @KBTXWeather, @KBTXShel or @KBTXAshley!