Ask Josh Fitzpatrick: Was that a tornado?

It's been a stormy spring so far with a lot of heavy rain, hail, high winds and interesting cloud formations. Meteorologist Josh Fitzpatrick shows you the clouds that could produce a tornado!

It's been a stormy spring so far with a lot of heavy rain, hail, high winds and some interesting cloud formations.

Over the weekend we received many photos from across the region when severe thunderstorms hit.  Many folks thought they saw a funnel cloud or a tornado forming.

The picture below was taken by Brett in Putnam County last Saturday evening.  At first glance it may look like a funnel cloud. 

This isn't a funnel but what's known as a shelf cloud.  It's the low hanging cloud which precedes the heavy rainfall. 

Another photo which looks like a funnel cloud was taken last summer from Chesapeake, Ohio.

This is another harmless cloud type which hangs down from the main thunderstorm out ahead of the leading edge of rainfall.  It would only be a funnel cloud had it been rotating.

A funnel cloud only becomes a tornado when it makes contact with the ground.

I took the picture shown below last summer in Gallia County, Ohio and this cloud formation is what's called the "Whales mouth." 

This is a very turbulent area of a thunderstorm and this creates some awesome cloud structures.

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