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What Are Funnel Clouds and Why You Should be Able to Recognize Them

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First Published: 16th of October, 2021 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: April 28, 2024 at 21:12 pm

In October 2021, we published an article about Guyana’s first recorded tornado. In light of this event which may very well be the result of climate change, we’ve decided to publish this article about funnel clouds – because several funnel clouds appeared over Guyana, and funnel clouds are closely linked to tornadoes.

Guyana recorded its first funnel cloud in the year 2019 over the skies of Georgetown, Region 4. To be exact, the funnel cloud was recorded in the afternoon of August 6, 2019. This is not to say that funnel clouds never happened over Guyana before, but this is possibly the first time it was recorded due to readily available mobile phone recording technology.

When the funnel cloud was first sighted over the skies of Georgetown in 2019, many people wondered what that was. Funnel clouds usually form at the base of a parent cloud. As the name suggests, the funnel cloud is shaped like a funnel. A funnel cloud is made up of water droplets and a column of rapidly circulating air. If a funnel cloud touches the ground, it is classified as a tornado.

Not all funnel clouds turn into tornadoes, but all of them have the potential to. Many funnel clouds develop into full blown tornadoes. If you see a funnel cloud, know that you may be close to the path of an impending tornado.

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May 1, 2024 2:27 pm

The funnel cloud you witnessed in 2019 is not the first recorded funnel cloud seen Guyana. I don’t recall the year but it was before 1985. A water spout (funnel cloud over water) was recorded that moved over part of the Demerara River in the vicinity of Stabroek Market. It blew of several zinc sheets from the market. It died shortly after that. Check with some of the experienced employees of the Hydromet Service they may be able to help.

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