Cold air funnels popped up around Wichita Monday afternoon. The weak tornadoes left behind minor damage, but also raised questions amongst our viewers, "Why were no warnings issued. Meteorologist Ross Janssen addressed the weather incident in depth on Eyewitness News at 10.
We also reached out to Sedgwick County Emergency Manager, Randy Duncan, for more information. Here is what he had to say:
"It is not our policy to sound the outdoor warning devices for cold air funnels for several reasons - typically they are so short in duration that by the time the system is activated, they have dissipated and secondly, they typically only cause minor damage (if any, at all). While we have reason to believe that the damage on the west side of Wichita (tree down, car windows out) was caused by the cold air funnel, this type of minor damage could also have easily happened from either hail (break out automobile windows) or straight line winds (uproot tree or blow tree branch down). We would not sound our outdoor warning devices for those events, either. Please note that the National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning for these events.
More importantly, however, we need to remember that the overall warning system for severe weather in Sedgwick County consists of many layers - including our partnership with the electronic media, the NOAA Weather Radio, the Emergency Alert System for those areas served by Cox Cablevision; and, our newest layer - the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) through your cellular telephone. The reason our system has so many layers is to make sure that the warning gets effectively and widely communicated to the public. This was the case yesterday with active reporting on all electronic media making the public aware of the situation. If the public receives information about severe weather through any of these layers, and they feel the need to take shelter, there is nothing preventing them from doing so."