BLUE EARTH COUNTY, Minn. (KEYC) — Wednesday evening, a number of questions arose over the activation of the outdoor emergency sirens by the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department.
Their department detected a funnel cloud located near Amboy.
“The situation was, our deputy who is Skywarn–trained, observed what appeared to be a funnel cloud down in the southern part of our county. In lieu of public safety he requested that our dispatch center activate the sirens. In Blue Earth County when we activate the sirens – all the sirens sound throughout the county," Chief Deputy and Emergency Management Director Mike Maurer said.
Each county has the ability to activate their sirens differently.
Currently, Blue Earth County sirens are activated all at once.
To keep the public safe, Maurer says if there is a storm or weather event inside the county they plan to notify everyone in the county.
KEYC's policy is to go on the air or run a crawl at the bottom of the screen during an active tornado warning.
The National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning Wednesday due to their radar not detecting any rotation.
Those funnels are called cold air funnels, produced by a very small amount of heat and plenty of cooler air.
Cold air funnel differ greatly from a traditional thunderstorm–formed tornado.
“They are different than the ones that produce the large tornadoes and super sells. Basically, a super cell – you have a rotating up draft that produces the rotation and then the funnel, so these cold are funnels, the surface bases are very high up and the rotation starts at the surface rather than from the cloud base," KEYC News 12 Meteorologist Joshua Eckl said.
The outdoor sirens allow people to recognize the potential threat of weather in the county and then take action.