Funnel cloud spotted, lightning strikes tree as storm moves through area

Funnel cloud spotted, lightning strikes tree as storm moves through area »Play Video
KATU Meteorologist Dave Salesky says this is a "scud" cloud and not a funnel cloud. A scud cloud is a very low-hanging cloud with lots of moisture in it. A previous caption incorrectly identified the cloud as a funnel cloud. However, NWS meteorologists did confirm there was a weak rotation in the area, which is evidence of a funnel cloud. Picture along I-205 sent in by KATU viewers Susi and Amanda.

GLADSTONE, Ore. – A weak funnel cloud formed in the Gladstone area on Tuesday afternoon as a thunderstorm rolled through part of the metro area.

KATU’s VIPIR radar showed a strong thunderstorm over I-205 in the Gladstone area around 2:10 p.m. Members of the public told the National Weather Service they spotted a funnel cloud in the storm.

NWS meteorologists confirmed the “weak rotation” of a funnel cloud, although said it did not pose any immediate risk.

“Funnel clouds are rotating columns of air that do not reach the ground,” NWS forecasters said in a statement. “They do not pose a threat to life or property unless they do reach the ground and become a tornado.”

Salesky said the funnel was a “cold core” funnel cloud, which is not necessarily uncommon in the metro area. Similar funnel clouds were spotted around the Willamette Valley and metro area last month.

He said they can show up on days like Tuesday where we have unsettled air and some afternoon heating.

This type of weather system can also bring heavy showers and thunderstorms.

Lightning strikes tree in Vancouver

The weather wasn't any better in Vancouver. A tree outside a home on Northeast 22nd near 170th Avenue was hit by lightning at about 3:30 p.m.

The woman who lives in the house was just walking out of her house when she heard what sounded like an explosion. Trees limps flew over her house and the lightning strike left the tree in her front yard destroyed.

The massive tree fell on top of the woman's car. The lightning and the tree didn't hit anyone.

Sam Litkie was next door when he heard the lightning hit.

"I was up in my room and all of a sudden I just heard this like bomb go off," he said. "I came outside and all of the debris was on her car and just everywhere. It was really scary."

The woman who lives in the house said it will likely cost her a couple hundred dollars to clean up the mess.

KATU reporter Erica Nochlin contributed to this story.

If you can safely take photos of a funnel cloud or other extreme weather we want to share them. Email or tweet us using the hashtag #LiveonK2.