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August 28, 2007

Aruba … Fun in the Sun or Water Spouts … Missed this in the Brochure

Posted in: Amigoe,Aruba,Bizarre,Missing Persons,Natural Disaster,Travel

Aruba, One Happy Island, experienced One Happy water spout and flooding. We thought the Aruban AHATA said this type of weather never occurred in Aruba? That type of PR can’t be good for tourism either.



Since Natalee Holloway has gone missing in Aruba we have witnessed Natural Bridge collapse into the ocean.


Now water spouts and flooding in Oranjestad … what’s next, Locust!



UPDATE I: Amigoe, August 28, 2007: Three whirlwinds and severe thunderstorm

An exceptional snapshot from Piedra Plat with one of the whirlwinds active on sea in the background.

ORANJESTAD – Aruba was coping with severe thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon.  Also very exceptional phenomenon happened: three whirlwinds developed offshore.  The biggest one started south-west of Manchebo Beach Resort and went in eastern direction along the high rise.  A second one developed offshore of Havana Beach, and a third one near Balashi Gardens.  Even though whirlwinds are innocent nature phenomena that may only be dangerous for the shipping traffic, they surely caused some panic.  

The exceptional weather is caused by a so-called storm front, a disturbance in the middlemost air layer of the atmosphere.  The weather station of the meteorological service at the airport of Aruba registered 35 millimeter of rain that fell between 15:00 and 16:30.  The storm caused problems for the air traffic.  Several airplanes had to deviate to Curacao, like an aircraft of American Airlines that, after two landing attempts and circling above the island for some time, decided to deviate to Hato.

A whirlwind is a funnel-shaped trunk, caused by fast turning air movements that are caused by the heating of the bottommost layers of a cloud.  Because it was totally overcast, the heat could not be released and it heated up the bottom of the clouds.  Since the cloud itself cools off, turning air movements come to exist.   When this reached the water surface and starts sucking up water, it becomes a whirlwind.

Most of the time, the whirlwind looses power above land.  Only in rare conditions, the whirlwind keeps sufficient power to cause damages along the coast.

Whirlwinds near Aruba almost always develop between 11:00 and 15:00.  Yesterday’s whirlwinds were unusual.  They developed later in the afternoon.  People on the water must be prepared for whirlwinds.   The wind is very strong and the visibility becomes poor, which was the case yesterday.  Two divers that concluded their dive near Boca Catalina couldn’t find the ship they came with.  A rescue boat that rushed out to rescue them, returned due to bad visibility; they were afraid to run down the divers, who found their ship after the rain slowed down.


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