Tornado in the making south-west of Underberg

2010-02-16 00:00

ON Saturday a tornado-like cloud could be seen over Sangwana Mountain, south-west of Underberg.

Craig Dalgleish, who saw the formation at 2.30 pm, said it dissipated after five minutes and no damage was caused.

A weather forecaster at the Durban Weather Office, Lucky Makhwedzha, identified the formation as a funnel cloud.

Makhwedzha said this was “one of the signs of a developing tornado”. A funnel cloud becomes a tornado once it touches the ground.

The storm was triggered by a strong vertical wind coupled with extreme heat (33°C) over the KwaZulu-Natal interior.

“Our radar picked this up as it was happening and SMS warnings were sent out to Disaster Management,” said Makhwedzha.

Disaster Management confirmed receiving the SMS on Saturday afternoon, but stressed that “a potentially strong storm does not necessarily mean one will materia­lise.”

According to Disaster Management, situations like these are watched closely, and — when necessary — warnings are sent to “the relevant parties”.

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