WATCH: Rare funnel cloud sightings in Okanagan Valley
Sunday, July 10, 2016, 7:00 PM - Several funnel clouds were caught on camera Sunday afternoon around the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.
This is a rare occurrence for the area as a ripe tornado environment features a warm and humid airmass and the golden rule with higher elevation is, the higher you go, the colder it gets. Tornadoes are typically reported in central portions of the nation, away from the coasts.
Funnel clouds were spotted north of Kelowna around Lake Country, B.C. at about 3 p.m. local time Sunday. Radar showed localized weak thunderstorms in the region. The storms are associated with an upper level low tracking across the Pacific Northwest and with vorticity (spin) in the atmosphere, this allowed for the development of funnel clouds.
The mere sight of one of these is sometimes enough to spark a tornado warning in some parts of Canada, and Environment Canada has been known on occasion to issue special weather statements just for funnel clouds alone.
On their own, they're not dangerous, simply rotating columns attached to the underside of a storm cloud, fueled by wind sheer. But if they keep their cohesion long enough to touch the ground, they can become full-fledged tornadoes. Even their weaker cousins, cold-core funnel clouds, which do not form from severe storm clouds, can become tornadoes at landfall.
Forecasters usually warn people to get to cover if they spot one. In fact, some clouds which appear to be funnels may actually be tornadoes whose bases are not visible, and may only be identified as such by the base kicking up dust and debris.
Watch more: RARE 'tornadogenesis' captured on camera as touchdown is seen