May 26, 2007

Singapore's Waterspout of 25 May 2007

This photo was taken by Riza, an employee of the Swissotel, The Stamford, on the hotel's rooftop. Swissotel, The Stamford, is the tallest hotel in SE Asia, at 226 meters. (Source)

There was a waterspout sighted very close to Singapore yesterday (which, unfortunately, I missed). Apparently, the waterspout was located somewhere along the SE coast of Singapore (near the Marine Parade neighborhood according to the NEA), although some videos taken from the island of Sentosa had some good views.

Reading through the NEA's response to "STOMP" (a feature of the Straits Times newspaper), waterspouts are somewhat common here, which is news to me: this is the first waterspout in Singapore I had heard of since moving here almost five years ago. This one seems to have generated a lot of attention due to its size and the fact it was widely sighted.

NEA's response to STOMP reads:

"A waterspout was observed in the waters off Marine Parade today.

In waters off Singapore, one or two sightings of waterspout are usually made in an average year. The last waterspout was observed last August.

Waterspout is a small weather phenomenon usually observed under cumuliform clouds during intense weather conditions associated with thunderstorms. Due to the lower pressure conditions under the clouds in such conditions, one or maybe two columns of water can be sucked towards the base of the clouds giving the traditional picture of a funnel(s), and as such waterspouts are sometimes also called funnel clouds.

In waters off Singapore, waterspouts have short life cycle of few to tens of minutes. Speed of movement of the waterspout over water ranges from a few to up to 15 knots.Waterspouts are known to dissipate rapidly near the coast and are not expected to cause other danger to lives and property on land besides the usual dangers associated with thunderstorms.

Waterspouts usually occur in water in the tropics."

I've looked at a number of Youtube videos, and this one is one of the better ones:

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