The first days of spring in Cortez have been marked by unpredictable weather conditions – including a funnel cloud appearance on Friday.
Brent McWhirter, co-owner of Moose and More on Main Street, caught some snapshots of a clearly defined cloud just east of Cortez about 12:08 p.m.
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction picked up McWhirter’s photos and shared them on the organization’s Facebook page.
“Given the state of the atmosphere, this is most likely a ‘cold air funnel,’ which is most common in the spring and fall,” the weather service wrote on the Facebook post. “Funnels of this type pose little threat to the public as they rarely reach the ground. However, when they do they only produce EF-0 level tornado damage (winds are typically less than 85 mph).”
A winter storm watch remains in effect for the Southwest San Juan Mountains until midnight Friday, with heavy snow expected at higher elevations above 8,500 feet and 1 to 3 inches in Montezuma County. Winds might reach 35 mph, the National Weather Service said.