Weather service analyzes photos of strange clouds over Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Clinton Stefanek spotted strange clouds over the Gateway area Monday.

He posted photos of the clouds on the KVAL News Facebook page Monday.

Two meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Portland analyzed the photos on Tuesday.

Kirsten Elson with the National Weather Service said the photos show what are known as "scud clouds," short for Scattered Cumulus Under Deck.

Elson said funnel clouds are connected to a larger cloud mass in the sky. A scud cloud is detached from any large cloud formation.

According to NOAA's website, "Scud clouds DO NOT produce severe weather. Scud clouds are often mistaken for wall clouds and tornadoes, especially when attached to the thunderstorm base. A way to differentiate scud clouds from wall clouds is to watch their relative position with respect to the rain area: scud clouds move away from the rain area while wall clouds maintain the same relative distance."

Elson said there is a very small chance that a funnel cloud could form during such weather conditions. However, once she and another meteorologist analyzed the photo, they knew it was a scud cloud and not a funnel cloud, she said.