funnel cloud

noun
a rapidly rotating funnel-shaped cloud extending downward from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud, which, if it touches the surface of the earth, is a tornado or waterspout.
Also called pendant cloud, tornado cloud, tuba.
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World English Dictionary
funnel cloud
 
n
a whirling column of cloud extending downwards from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud: part of a waterspout or tornado

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  funnel cloud
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a funnel-shaped cloud descending from a towering cumulus or cumulonimbus that, if it reaches the ground, becomes a tornado
Usage:  science
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Example sentences
Water droplets from the mesocyclone's moist air form a funnel cloud.
The mesocyclone can eventually form a stormy funnel cloud, which becomes a
  tornado when it touches down.
If a cold air funnel is spotted, take the same precautions you would for any
  funnel cloud or tornado.
They can appear without warning and be invisible until dust and debris are
  picked up or a funnel cloud appears.
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