TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - There's a weather phenomenon we can sometimes get, but it's often mistaken for a tornado.
It's called a cold air funnel.
These are very different from a tornado, so here's what has to happen with them.
First, there needs to be a layer of cool air that's behind a front.
This is important, because tornadoes develop ahead of a front, while cold air funnels develop behind.
Next, there are two different wind patterns.
The wind near the ground goes one way, and the wind higher up in the atmosphere goes the opposite way.
As cool air rises, these wind patterns will cause rotation.
This causes what may look like a weak tornado high up in the storm.
The funnel will try to touch the ground, but in most cases, it stays high up in the air.
If it happens to touch the ground, there is usually minimal to no damage, as these are much weaker than tornadoes.
Again, while these look like a tornado, they are not, and they are much less dangerous.