Rare funnel cloud affects Ramstein flights
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Air Force weather operators observed a rare phenomenon Tuesday, when a funnel cloud formed northeast of Ramstein Air Base.
The funnel cloud was first sighted at 6:20 p.m. about seven miles above the hills of Mehlingen, said Capt. Cassandra Troup, a weather officer with the 86th Operations Support Squadron. The funnel cloud did not touch down, Troup said.
Such “cold-air funnels” are formed when air at higher elevations is much colder than air at lower levels, Troup said.
“They rarely touch down, but if they do, they can cause damage,” Troup said.
The funnel cloud prompted aircraft approaching Ramstein to land from the south instead of the north, but did not otherwise affect operations, Ramstein spokesman 1st Lt. Tracy Giles said.
Blustery conditions continued on Wednesday. Troup said weather airmen had put out an advisory about 25-knot winds and low-level wind shears. Some aircraft maintenance work was on hold because it would be unsafe, for example, to put a plane up on a jack in the high winds.