Wednesday, May 30, 2012


On my trip to Denver, I took along "The Girl Who Played with Fire" as some light airplane reading. The beginning takes place in the Caribbean Island nation of Grenada, and while our heroine is spending time in the sun, the island just happens to get hit by a hurricane.

Nevermind that this is in December, far past the usual confines of hurricane season. What really got to me is the scene in which a bad guy wanders into a waterspout, and the author insists that NEVER BEFORE has there been a tornado in the middle of a hurricane, and that it is IMPOSSIBLE for tornadoes to form over water. It seems Mr. Larsson could have done a bit more research, as tornadoes and waterspouts a very common side effect of hurricanes.

What I did not know until very recently, however, is that tornadoes and waterspouts can form in the Caribbean even when there are no hurricanes about.

On Sunday I was working in the kitchen, when I happened to glance out the front door at the cloud bank about a mile offshore to our north. Imagine my surprise when I espied what appeared to be funnel clouds.

Those two little wisps dropping down from the main body of cloud really grabbed my attention in a primal way. At first I thought I was being silly, but then I turned to HB and asked, "are those funnel clouds?". One glance and he confirmed my suspicions.

We stood on the porch transfixed as we watched the clouds elongate. After a few minutes, HB's sharp eyes picked up a disturbance on the surface of the water, just barely visible in the photo above.

A longer lens confirmed what our eyes suspected. The funnel cloud had touched down on the surface of the ocean and created a waterspout. This one lasted about 10 minutes all-told, and the same cloud system created a second, weaker waterspout that lasted maybe five minutes. Quite a lot of weather excitement for our Sunday afternoon, though.

1 comment:

Search This Blog