Waterspouts are tornadoes formed over water bodies which suck up water into its spinning Vortex and can become a powerful tornado once it hits the crust of the earth.
A Malabar Hill resident was taken aback by a phenomenon which rarely occurs in India. Darshan Khatau on Monday morning witnessed a Waterspout. Waterspouts are nothing but Tornadoes formed over water bodies. The funnel shaped twister is actually a rapidly rotating or twisting column of wind with a powerful vertex. It was spotted almost 3 km off the coast of Mumbai from Malabar Hill, near Prongs Lighthouse at 9:15am.
Khatau, who witnessed the event expressed: “I saw it when I had stepped out on my balcony to take photographs of birds like I do daily. The phenomenon lasted for about 20 seconds and I managed to take two short videos. The location of the waterspout may not have been more than 1 km off Colaba early this morning. Owing to cloud cover and haze, the photos were not very clear.” Khatau is an avian and wildlife enthusiast and has documented innumerous species of birds.
Another image of the waterspout was tweeted by Seju Nair on Twitter. The posts read out that the water column was spotted near Marine Drive on Monday morning. According to HT they “shared Khatau’s videos with the weather bureau, Union earth sciences ministry and independent meteorologists.’
Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general, India Meteorological Department (IMD), deemed the phenomenon as a ‘rare occurrence especially close to the coast’. He further added: “This does not happen frequently. Whenever there is any convective activity (vertical transport of heat and moisture in the atmosphere from warmer surface area and lifted to cooler zone) followed by thunderstorms, this kind of weather phenomenon is witnessed. This phenomenon is a tornado when it occurs over land, and over sea it is termed as a waterspout. It can happen over a river, large pond, and over the ocean. During the monsoon season, whenever there are convective clouds, it can occur in coastal areas.”
“This is an atmospheric phenomenon. It is a rotation of the cloud that comes down and pulls up water. Owing to convective currents, there is a down-drop effect which pulls up the water in a rotational manner for a small time frame,” explained M Rajeevan, The secretary of ministry of earth sciences. (Source: HT)