Funnel cloud spotted in Fresno County near Sanger

Kate Nemarich Image
Friday, May 5, 2023
Funnel cloud spotted in Fresno County near Sanger
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Springtime weather can be interesting, and unpredictable.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Springtime weather can be interesting, and unpredictable.

A funnel cloud was spotted in Fresno County by ABC30 insider Noah Garcia.

Garcia took the video near McKinley and Academy Avenue, just north of Sanger.

There are no tornado warnings as of now, but National Weather Service Hanford is tracking conditions.

People around Academy Avenue spotted the funnel cloud late this morning.

The National Weather Service says that with the current conditions, we could continue to see funnel clouds in Central California until about eight tonight.

While they say it's unusual to see funnel clouds in May, it's not unheard of.

People around Fresno County were caught off guard by a funnel cloud Thursday morning.

"It's very surprising knowing that it's springtime that that would be in our clear skies today," said Miriam Agabo, a Fresno local.

Without tornado warnings in effect, they stopped to document what they were seeing.

"When I first took the video, I was kind of confused as to is that really what I think it is?" recalled Garcia.

Carlos Molina with the National Weather Service says upper-level cold air is moving across Central California, destabilizing the atmosphere and creating the perfect conditions for thunderstorms and even funnel clouds.

Molina says we don't often see funnel clouds in May, but that doesn't mean they can't happen.

"The only thing is that by the time we get to May, normally, we start seeing our dry season. And so the most of these storms will actually form or actually move through the Pacific Northwest. They don't necessarily come this far south," Molina said.

Molina says this storm system isn't strong enough to create a tornado but that doesn't mean funnel clouds aren't dangerous.

"It's still doing its rotation. It's still able to lift something up into the atmosphere even though it's not touching the ground. It's not actually creating the damage on the ground. Still has the ability to actually grab something, be able to move it around, and then toss it," explained Molina.

If you spot a funnel cloud, Molina says you should head indoors.

Even if you don't, thunderstorms and lightning are still possible, so staying inside is best.

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