Waterspout spotted in Hong Kong Waters

     The Hong Kong Observatory had received a report from a member of the public at around 5pm today (July 22) about a waterspout that occurred around 4.30pm near Siu Sai Wan. An area of intense convection was also indicated by the Observatory's weather radar at that time. Locally, under the influence of the outer rainbands of Typhoon Chanthu, the weather was unstable with strong convective activities, giving rise to heavy rain and favourable conditions for the formation of waterspout.

     A waterspout occurs over water, and a tornado is its equivalent over land. It usually involves a fast rotating column of air extending from the base of a convective cloud to the water surface. A rotating column of air that does not touch the water surface is called a funnel cloud.

     Waterspouts are most commonly seen in June and July. In Hong Kong, a waterspout was last spotted on August 19, 2009. Since 1959, there have been a total of 39 cases of waterspouts and 17 cases of funnel clouds sighted within 460 kilometres (250 nautical miles) of Hong Kong.

Ends/Thursday, July 22, 2010
Issued at HKT 22:41