Spinning waterspout rises from a lake in Rwanda and swirls up into the clouds before disappearing in spectacular images 15 minutes later
- A huge spinning waterspout was seen from Lake Ruhondo in Rwanda
- Villagers warned their families when the weather phenomenon swept over the water
- But within minutes, the tornadic waterspout lost its power before disappearing
This is when baffled villagers watched a giant waterspout form on a lake in Rwanda.
The tornadic weather phenomenon stretched from the blue waters of Lake Ruhondo in Burera district to the dark clouds above on Tuesday.
The whirlwind started in the water as a small rotating gust of wind before slowly turning into a funnel-shaped column about 60 meters from the nearest houses.
Teacher Schadrack Tuya was relaxing on his balcony when he saw the waterspout quickly forming and quickly warned his relatives.
Schadrack said, “I didn’t want to panic, but I warned my family members about it anyway.
“I’ve watched the waterspout grow from the little twisting wind it was until it became a giant that reached the sky.”
The waterspout grew as it absorbed more water, but fortunately it stayed on the lake and did not get closer to the houses.
After a few minutes, the waterspout began to lose strength before disappearing completely.
Rwanda’s Meteorology Agency said in a statement that the waterspout was caused by changing weather patterns in the area.
The tornadic weather phenomenon on Tuesday stretched from the blue waters of Lake Ruhondo, the Burera district high up to the dark clouds above.
The organization said, “The weather phenomenon occurs when cold air moves across the lakes and results in large temperature differences between warm water and the predominant cold air.”
Watershoos are tornadoes that form above water. They are intense columns of swirling clouds that stretch from the surface to high in the sky.
They are most common in subtropical regions and disappear shortly after coming into contact with land.
Waterspouts are generally not dangerous, but they can pose a risk to planes flying through the area and to coral reefs and marine life in the water below.
The waterspout got bigger as it absorbed more water, but fortunately stayed on the lake. After a few minutes, the waterspout began to lose strength before disappearing completely
Sailors should also try to avoid water spouts as the consequences of floating in one water can be disastrous.
The most common type of waterspout is a ‘fair weather waterspout’. They happen when winds from opposite directions merge near the water’s surface, creating a small area of spin.
Sudden warm air at the surface, usually from a thunderstorm, causes the revolving air to spin faster and start to rise – while absorbing water at the same time.
Sometimes the air spins so fast that it stretches and a funnel appears from the water to the thundercloud above.
WATERSPOUTS: DEADLY FUNNELS THAT CAN RISE HUNDREDS OF FEET
What are they and why do they form?
Waterpipes are swirling columns of air and water mist.
They form when cumulus clouds grow rapidly. These clouds are free-standing, fluffy in appearance and cauliflower-shaped.
They fall into two categories: ‘fair weather’ and ‘tornadic’
(1) Tornadic waterspouts
These are tornadoes that form over water or move from land to water and develop downward during thunderstorms.
They have the same characteristics as a land tornado and can be accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail and lightning.
(2) Waterspouts in good weather
These usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds and develop upward from the surface of the water.
1. Dark Spot: A light-colored disk appears on the surface of the water surrounded by a larger dark area
2. Spiral pattern: a combination of light and dark spots on the water spiraling out of the dark spot
3. Spray ring: A ring of sea spray appears around the dark spot
4. Mature vortex: the waterspout reaches maximum intensity, creating a funnel shape that appears hollow. It can rise several hundred meters.
5. Decay: the funnel and the vortex begin to dissipate as the warm air inflow into the vortex weakens