Funnel cloud spotted in Caroni at 3:42 PM (Neela Motilal)
Shortly after 3:40 PM Saturday 14th August 2021, a funnel cloud was spotted moving northwestward across Central Trinidad. Sightings were reported from Valsayn, Caroni, Spring Village, and Carapichaima.
There were no reports of the funnel touching down, hence no tornado.
Through Sunday, as Tropical Storm Grace moves across the Leewards, near calm winds with southeasterly steering may allow for additional funnel clouds to develop during the late mornings through the afternoon, favoring Trinidad. Waterspouts are also possible across Trinidad and Tobago’s coastal areas, favoring southern and western parts of both islands. If either a funnel cloud touches land or a waterspout moves onshore, it could become a tornado.
The Origin of Funnel Clouds, Tornadoes and Waterspouts
Within showers and thundershowers (all convective showers), there is an updraft, where warm air rises.
However, when there is a change of wind speed or direction as the air rises (wind shear), this updraft begins to rotate. This rotating updraft is called a mesocyclone. As this mesocyclone, or rotating air, moves closer to the surface of the earth, this may cause a this cloud to form.