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Tornado Over Paarl?!

 TORNADO OVER PAARL!?

Funnel Cloud Over Paarl

Not quite but very close. This amazing photograph was taken by Ian Willis in Paarl on Monday 13 July 2009 in the morning. This is not in fact a tornado but the funnel of a ‘landspout’, a landspout is like a waterspout but only on land, these systems are not as damaging as tornadoes and are not formed from a mesocyclone which is present in a supercell. Rather these landspouts develop from towering cumulus clouds and tend to have more tube-like features than tornadoes do. It is unknown whether this funnel infact ever reached the ground to become an actual ‘landspout’ as it was weakening when Ian Willis was taking photos.

The best part about this funnel is we have the radar data just minutes prior to the event. If you scroll down a bit there is a radar image from 13 July 2009 09:00+-GMT (11am South African Time), And this funnel had occured about 40 minutes later, so the squall line which you are looking at on radar imagery is the same squall line that formed this funnel. Squall lines are known to have multiple vorticies along it and these vorticies can sometimes form tornadoes or in this case funnels. It is an extremely rare event, especially here in the Western Cape and Ian Willis was lucky to have managed to capture this great event on camera.

Should you capture any rare or beautiful weather events please feel free to contact me at: stormchasingsa@gmail.com and you can have your photos published on the site.

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Mitchell Krog is a Johannesburg based wildlife and landscape photographer

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