The models had been showing this possibility for a long
A video of a waterspout in Durban last week has been doing it’s rounds of viral internet sharing. Or at least for South Africans.
Many people seem to label a waterspout as a tornado but they are in fact two different phenomena. The main difference between a waterspout like the one in Durban and a tornado is that a waterspout forms when the water temperature is a lot warmer than the air mass. They can form from the bottom of regular cumulus clouds where as tornadoes form from supercell thunderstorms. Waterspouts tend to have much lower wind speeds due to the fact that there isn’t as much energy as a thunderstorm carries and the updrafts are much stronger in thunderstorms. These waterspouts have been documented all along South Africa’s coasts, though they remain very rare. They are most commonly seen during late summer or autumn, where the water temperatures are still moderately warm, but the cold air patterns are more prominent.