ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46

Strong winds may turn into mini-tornadoes

By Nadia Fazlulhaq

Unusual weather patterns may be experienced in the New Year season, as strong winds head towards the island, bringing heavy rains and possibly even mini-tornadoes. Meteorology Department deputy director S. H. Kariyawasam said the situation was expected to be aggravated by the normally adverse weather conditions that prevail during the inter-monsoon period, characterised by heavy showers accompanied by lightning and thunder.

“This year the rain patterns are unusual because of fluctuating sea levels, temperature and changes of pressure in the atmosphere. Mini-tornadoes may develop out of heavy winds and thunderclouds in the coming week,” he said.

“Currently, a low-level atmospheric disturbance prevails over the east coast of Sri Lanka, and if it moves inland, it could cause heavy rains for a few weeks. Strong winds may even develop into mini-tornadoes, but these would be short-lived and localised,” Mr. Kariyawasam said.

Heavy winds could cause damage to trees and roofs of houses, so the public should stay alert, he added. Inter-monsoon weather conditions, usually starting in mid- March, have been unusually late this year, he said. These conditions were expected to continue till the end of May. During this period, the sun is directly above the island, and hot weather can be expected, especially in the more inland parts of the country.

Mr. Kariyawsam said thundershowers could be expected throughout the month, with the western and southern coastal belts experiencing morning showers as well.

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