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Cold Core Funnel Clouds trigger Tornado watches in Alberta

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Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Sunday, August 4, 2013, 9:37 PM -

At 6:10 MDT Environment Canada issued a tornado watch for parts of southern Alberta. 

Weather Network Twitter followers flooded our feed Sunday evening with images of what appeared to be funnel clouds west of Red Deer. Shortly thereafter, Environment Canada issued a tornado watch for Rocky Mountain House, Caroline, Red Deer, Ponoka and Innisfail. 

However, as eerie as tornado images can be, not all are cut from the same cloth. 

Such was the case over Sylvan Lake, where one viewer spotted what's known as a cold core funnel cloud. 

So, what's the difference between a cold core funnel cloud and a traditional funnel cloud? Weather Network Meteorologist, Doug Gillham explains: 

"Anytime Environment Canada issues a tornado watch, it should be taken seriously. But fortunately, with cold core funnels they rarely touch down. Now, on rare occasions they can, and when they do touch down, any unsecured objects can blow around and cause minor damage -- and usually they're very brief. But the whole storm is not rotating, so these are not able to generate the power we see with supercell thunderstorms where we can see more longer track systems, stronger winds and more potential for damage."

Check Watches and Warnings in your area.

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