East Valley still abuzz over rare funnel cloud

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A funnel cloud was spotted in Scottsdale on Sunday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A funnel cloud was spotted in Scottsdale on Sunday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Chris Birkett recorded it on his phone. (Source: Chris Birkett) Chris Birkett recorded it on his phone. (Source: Chris Birkett)
Birkett talked to his mom about the funnel cloud. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Birkett talked to his mom about the funnel cloud. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Many around the East Valley are still talking about the rare funnel cloud in the sky Sunday afternoon.

"I was a little freaked out, but very excited," said Chris Birkett of Scottsdale.

Birkett, a wedding DJ, was meeting a client at his home when he walked outside and caught what was developing right before his eyes.

"All of a sudden there was this greenish glow, and we looked up and there it was. To me, it looked like a twister, and it was all rotating," said Birkett.

[READ MORE: Funnel cloud forms in Scottsdale]

He pulled out his cellphone, began recording, and at the same time, made a phone call.

"I was like, my mom is going to freak out because she loves weather," said Birkett.

While on the phone with his mom, who was visiting Kingman at the time, he described what he was seeing.

"It's kind of like a dust devil without being a dust devil. It's the weirdest thing. I don't think they gave a tornado warning. It looks like it's getting smaller," he said.

"If they didn't give any tornado warnings then it must be a cold funnel that you get in cold storms, but it can look like a tornado," Birkett's mom replied.

While the formation looked dangerous, Birkett soon found out from his mom, a weather enthusiast, that looks can be deceiving.

The National Weather Service later confirmed the cold air funnel posed no threat.

"When you get something like this, your brain doesn't really process it because we don't have that all the time," said Birkett.

A cold air funnel forms high above the earth's surface, from a small shower or thunderstorm when the air aloft is very cold. This is usually behind a cold front associated with a large, slow moving low-pressure system. These funnels are very weak and often difficult to detect on radar.

The National Weather Service does not issue tornado warnings for cold air funnels because it is so rare for them to make it to the ground and develop into a tornado.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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