Over the past few days, Mumbai has been experiencing light to heavy rainfall. In fact, over the last weekend, heavy rainfall was accompanied by lightning and thunderstorms overnight. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), it was the second-highest 24-hour October rainfall in a decade. A Malabar Hill resident spotted a water-tornado off Mumbai’s coast on October 5, 2020. Shortly after the water-tornado was spotted, some parts of the city including the suburbs, witnessed isolated incidents of light rain. It was explained as a rare phenomenon, and the picture shared on social media shows just how intense it was. Also called waterspout, the sight was something not usually spotted. So, what is a waterspout? Is it dangerous? In this article, we will know more about water-tornadoes. Firenado in California! Viral Video of Wildfires Resulting in Tornado Looks Terrifying, Know What Causes a Fire Whirl or Fire Devil.
The resident identified as Darshan Khatau reported that the water-tornado was spotted at around 9:15 am near Prongs Lighthouse, approximately 3 kilometres off the coast of Mumbai. A wildlife enthusiast, Khatu was quoted in Hindustan Times as saying, “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.” 11 Waterspouts Spotted Spinning Together Offshore Louisiana, Viral Pics and Videos of Intense Water Tornadoes Are Scaring Netizens.
See Pic of Water Tornado
IMD called this a rare event, ‘especially close to the coast.’ Explaining on the science behind it, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, M Rajeevan was quoted saying in the same report, “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.”
What is Waterspouts? Is it Dangerous?
A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex that occurs over a body of water. While it is usually weaker than most of its land counterparts, stronger versions spawned by mesocyclones do appear. Water tornado has a five-part life cycle—formation of a dark spot on the water surface, spiral pattern on the water surface, the formation of a spray ring, development of the visible condensation funnel ( a funnel cloud), and ultimately, decay.
More than one waterspout can occur in the same area at the same time. Some waterspouts are strong and tornadic, while others are much weaker and caused by different atmospheric dynamics. Although waterspouts are not considered as destructive s their land-based cousins, their ability to carry anything in their path makes them risky to vessels and small craft. Not only can it cause havoc to mariners, but water tornado can also devastate coral reefs and marine organisms that are close to the water surface.