Last week, footage of what looked like a tornado touching down at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT park circulated on social media. But according to Click Orlando, the National Weather Service in Melbourne confirmed that it was only a “brief funnel cloud.” No touchdown occurred.
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The funnel cloud looked like it may have reached the ground based on the camera angle. Disney World patrons looked up in awe at the natural phenomenon. New York Post reported that the “funnel did not cause any damage to the parks or nearby resorts but did create quite a commotion.”
News 6 meteorologist Jonathan Kegges explained that it was difficult to determine whether the formation was a scud cloud, funnel cloud or tornado at first.
However, because footage showed the cloud rotating, meteorologists could determine it was a funnel cloud. The difference between a funnel cloud and a tornado is that the former never touches down, while the latter does — and violently.
“Initially it was difficult to determine if the cloud was rotating from the video and pictures taken at EPCOT,” Kegges told Click Orlando. “Rotation is the factor that differentiates a funnel cloud from a scud. Oftentimes, scud clouds resemble funnel clouds or tornadoes. Oftentimes, scud clouds resemble funnel clouds or tornadoes. Scud clouds are a type of fractus cloud, which is a jagged cloud that forms in the warm, moist area beneath a thunderstorm updraft.”
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