Friday Aug 26, 2016
XINING: Multiple tornadoes known as waterspouts were witnessed on lake Qinghai China’s largest lake on Thursday.
Amateur video on social media shows as many as three whirling columns of air hovering over the lake’s surface. They look like tornadoes over water and are said to be much weaker, but if they make landfall they can still cause significant damage.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) waterspouts fall into two categories – fair weather and tornadic waterspouts.
The NOAA describes the tornadic waterspouts to develop similar to the land tornado forming downwards during a thunderstorm, fair weather waterspouts form on the surface of the water body and work their way up to the sky.
The Qinghai Lake lies approximately 100 kilometers west of the provincial capital Xining and has a surface area of over 4,300 square kilometers. To put that into perspective, the sprawling metropolis of Karachi spans slightly over 3,500 square kilometers.
According to data collected in 2008, the lake has a maximum depth of 25 meters with an average depth of 21 meters.