TNM asked TN Weatherman and IMD on what the phenomenon was and whether it happened.

Did Chennais Kasimedu witness a twister last Friday Screenshot
news Weather Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 10:41

A video of what appears to be a twister approaching the Kasimedu shore in North Chennai is going viral on social media. 

The ‘twister’, captured by a Kasimedu resident is reported to have taken place at 8.30am last Friday (October 27). 

“It was quite windy and the sea was rough that day. I was in the fishing harbour when this thanni kaal (leg of water) moved from the Chennai Port towards Ennore,” S Dhanasekar, who videographed the phenomenon told The Hindu.

Watch:

However, the Regional Meteorological Department in Chennai said that they have not observed anything like a twister near Kasimedu and they have not received any reports also regarding the same.

"The location seen in the video is near the N4 bridge in Kasimedu," says Jagdeesan, a local fisherman. "Our phones are being flooded with these videos as well. But we think it is the video an old incident that is being spread again," he adds.

Speaking to TNM, weather blogger Pradeep John, who handles the Tamil Nadu Weatherman page on Facebook, said the phenomenon is called a ‘waterspout’. “It is very uncommon in south India to see this kind of circulation.  Can’t exactly say why we are seeing this. The radar signal should have spotted it.” 

John also said that a similar phenomenon was captured near Uthandi in south Chennai in 2013. The weather blogger pointed out that waterspouts are common in Orissa and West Bengal in the months of April and May. 

According to National Geographic, “A waterspout is a column of rotating, cloud-filled wind. A waterspout descends from a cumulus cloud to an ocean or a lake. Waterspouts are similar to tornadoes but are usually smaller and less intense.”

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that tornadic waterspouts  are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning. 

The Northeast monsoon arrived in Tamil Nadu on Friday. Heavy rains, accompanied occasionally by thunder and lightning, have lashed Chennai and other parts of the state. 

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