Social media was abuzz with the news of people spotting funnel clouds associated with the scattered thunderstorm that blew through the Sioux Falls area late in the afternoon on Monday, (July 30). Shortly after that, word started to trickle out they were just cold-air funnels. After further review, that wasn't the case at all, at least near Humboldt, just ask one unlucky homeowner who had a weak tornado destroy his garage.

KSFY TV is reporting that Mike Deneui who has home south of Humboldt was busy helping a friend about a mile away from his home that afternoon when the thunderstorm came through the area. Deneui told KSFY, "I looked up and said 'there's a funnel cloud." His friend said, "No there isn't." Deneui said, "Look straight up there." The two men watched the funnel come halfway down, then back up, and then about two minutes later came back down, then back up.

Unbeknownst to Deneui at the time, that funnel cloud would end up causing significant damage to his livelihood. The funnel later classified as an EF-0 tornado did a number on the garage at Deneui's home. He told KSFY, "This stuff can all be replaced. No one got hurt. So, I am thankful for that I guess. The fun part starts with cleaning this stuff up."

After hearing about the damage to Deneui's garage, many people were left wondering why the National Weather Service didn't issue a tornado warning?

KSFY reports the official word from the NWS was since the tornadoes would touch down briefly, it would be difficult to issue. National Weather Service meteorologist-in-charge Todd Heitkamp told KSFY, "By the time we would issue at that point and time they would've been long gone before the public would have even heard it."

"Tornados typically occur in the spring or early summer." according to Heitkamp, "But, once in a while, we'll get them once a year in the tri-state area."

In the case of the storm on Monday, it was one of those rare occasions a mid-summer storm cell actually ended up producing a weak tornado. Fortunately, no one was hurt as a result. However, this should serve as an excellent reminder to all of us the next time you see what appears to be a cold-air funnel, don't be so sure, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Source: KSFY TV


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