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Hong Kong weather

Another waterspout seen in Hong Kong, off Clear Water Bay, amid heavy rain and thunderstorms

Second sighting of whirling column of air and mist this month captured by Observatory cameras off Clear Water Bay

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2018, 11:25pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 4:59pm

Another waterspout was seen off Hong Kong waters on Tuesday morning amidst a day of heavy downpours and thunderstorms.

The whirling column of air and mist was photographed in the city’s eastern waters, first off the Ninepin Islands by a member of the public. It was also captured by the Observatory’s own cameras off Clear Water Bay, according to the official forecaster, which posted the images on its Facebook page.

The natural spectacle would be the second witnessed this month. A weather monitoring station on the island of Cheung Chau identified one near Tung Wan beach during Tropical Storm Ewiniar last Thursday.

Reports of sightings were also received, and images and video clips of the waterspout were widely circulated online.

Waterspouts are fast-rotating air columns above water that extend down from the base of clouds, which in both cases were part of rainbands brought about by storms, according to the Observatory. Depending on their type, some can be just as dangerous as tornadoes.

Funnel clouds, a similar phenomenon, are rotating air columns not in contact with the ground or water. Both are most commonly seen during the city’s rainy season between May and September.

The last funnel cloud to be seen was on May 25 just west of Hong Kong International Airport.

Waterspouts were seen near Kau Yi Chau, an uninhabited island west of Victoria Harbour, and off Clear Water Bay again in July and October 2015 respectively.

The Observatory expects the weather in the next few days to be “unstable” with showers and thunderstorms, as a trough of low pressure lingers above the coast of neighbouring Guangdong province.