Despite a funnel cloud being spotted southeast of Norfolk on Monday evening, authorities said it posed little danger.

Around 8:10 p.m. Monday, a funnel cloud occurred and set off a frenzy on social media with sightings and photos.

But according to the National Weather Service in Valley, funnel clouds of this type generally are weak and don't usually touch down, the weather service said.

At 8:12 p.m., trained weather spotters reported a shower 6 miles southeast of Norfolk, moving southeast at 20 mph. This shower headed toward Stanton had the potential to produce a few weak funnel clouds.

Such “cold air” funnels usually happen when a cold front approaches, and they seldom touch the ground. If they do touch down, they are brief and cause only minor damage.

According to a Facebook post by Stanton County Emergency Management, sirens aren’t sounded until the funnel becomes an actual tornado on the ground, with signs of debris. Sirens also may be sounded if a sustained wind speed is greater than 60 mph or hail that is greater than 2 inches in diameter.

“Remember, the sirens are not just for tornadoes. They are designed as an outdoor warning device to warn people to go indoors during a potential life threat from severe weather,” according to the post. “Many times, spotters will see multiple funnel clouds and they never touch the ground. This eliminates the ‘crying wolf’ issue and saves the outdoor warning device for an actual life threat.”

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