FORESTVILLE – A Forestville man’s weather video has gone viral, with more than 80 thousand views since Sunday.
Steve Tooley captured what he thought was the making of a funnel cloud Sunday night. The storm, which was over the Fredonia/Silver Creek area at the time, was instead a ‘scud cloud,’ according to weather officials.
Tooley said he normally tries to capture lighting from his porch but was surprised to see the creepy formation.
“It was eerily calm when I was taking the video and shooting photos,” said Tooley. “The winds seemed to be blowing into the storm.”
Tooley said this was not his first weather event captured on camera. In 2018 the amateur storm chaser said he recorded a wall cloud in South Dayton.
“I’ve had photos that have been seen a couple thousand times, I thought that was pretty cool, but nothing like this,” said Tooley. “I almost couldn’t charge my battery last night because my phone was blowing up so much.”
National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Mitchell said the cloud may have looked like it was rotating, but in most cases, this one in particular, the cloud formation did not meet the criteria.
“A scud cloud is just a ragged cloud, very thin, wispy, right at the bottom of a cloud deck,” said Mitchell. “A lot of times it appears to look like that (a funnel cloud) but it’s really not.”
Mitchell said the National Weather Service is always grateful for weather photographers, like Tooley, as they are the organization’s “boots on the ground.”
“We do a lot of stuff with radar, we couldn’t live without it, but it is nice to get that confirmation,” said Mitchell. “For example: last night we started out with one inch hail, and just looking at the radar we thought maybe it would be a bit bigger, then we got confirmation that we had some 1.75 inch hail; and we upgraded the warning.”
The Meteorologist said there were reports of a few trees down in the area, but for the most part, hail was the biggest issue of the night.
Those interested in learning more about becoming a certified weather spotter can visit www.weather.gov/buf/Skywarn.