Feared funnel cloud just a rain shaft, experts conclude

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By Megan Gillis, Ottawa Citizen, July 24, 2018

During Monday night’s deluge, Ottawa weather-watchers spotted what looked like a funnel cloud, which can become a tornado.

Thankfully it was likely just what’s known as a “rain shaft” – a common phenomenon but one that we rarely get to see from just the right perspective.

Gerald Cheng, acting warning preparedness meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, looked at a local video shared on social media and had some experienced forecasters watch it, too.

“They all seem to think that it’s a rain shaft (a column of rain), rather than a funnel cloud, although it’s understandable why people would think that,” Cheng said.