A video purporting to show thick clouds hanging low and swirling over northern Singapore sparked tornado fears yesterday, after a Redditor with the handle tecolugaplsnerf — and how are you not gonna trust a guy named “tecolugaplsnerf”? — posted the 10-second clip online.
The swirling went on for several minutes before it “lost circulation,” “moved up and stopped developing,” the poster said in discussions with other Redditors over the video, which has since been popping up in Facebook groups around the city.
While the National Environment Agency hasn’t gotten back to us yet, there’s been no shortage of theories online, with some saying it was probably a water spout that had failed to form over what looks like the Lower Seletar Reservoir. Either that or a wall cloud, since the clouds were “rotating noticeably” in the video, offered Redditor PlastikSporc.
Waterspouts are common in Singapore waters, with the last one formed near the Tanjong Pagar Terminal in May. Singapore also saw its first-ever reported tornado last month, with videos showing the landspout damaging the roof of a building in the Tuas industrial district.
“You can tell the environment is getting f***ed up when tornadoes are trying to form in SG,” said Redditor Daggerxd.
“If a tornado tearing up Yishun doesn’t make headlines around the world about climate change then I honestly don’t know what will,” another Redditor said.
Waterspouts are rotating columns of cloud-filled wind descending from a cumulus cloud to a large water body, like an ocean or lake, according to the National Geographic website. They are less intense than tornadoes, which are formed during large thunderstorms and rotate violently, with speeds more than 400kmh.
Similar to waterspouts, landspouts also descend from a cumulus cloud and are more slow-moving.
Singapore has been experiencing thundery showers in recent days — which could also explain the heavy clouds above us — now that monsoon season has set in, the meteorological service said last week. That’s expected to last at least until next week.
It rained heavily yesterday morning, with light showers in the late afternoon, and then more rain over some areas at night, according to the NEA’s weather updates on Twitter.