HYDERABAD: Motorists on the outer ring road near Pedda Amberpet on Friday were in for some surprise, not a pleasant one, as they witnessed a column of air moving rapidly round and round in a cylindrical or funnel shape.
The winds carrying dust swirl at great speed, throwing bikers and cars off balance. Drivers were forced to stop their vehicle as the whirlwind swept the stretch, leading to a traffic jam for a while. It was a mini-variant of a whirlwind that took the motorists by surprise.
Apparently, it was the second time that such a whirlwind formation was seen on the city outskirts in last two months. A whirlwind, as these spiral winds are called by weather experts, is a common phenomenon during summer season.
Weather scientists at the Hyderabad Meteorological Centre in Begumpet attributed it to rising temperatures on the earth surface.
Explaining the phenomenon, M Narasimha Rao, assistant meteorologist at the Hyderabad Met Centre said: “As the ground receives more heat energy, pressure starts falling. In some places, when the pressure falls the surrounding air tries to fill in the space pushing things around into the air.” It is a common phenomenon in summers. Last month, we witnessed similar winds in Bowenpally, he added.
The whirlwind travels at a windspeed of 5 to 20 kmph carrying dust and light objects in a circular formation up to a height of 20-30 feet. The same can be often seen on bitumen-carpeted roads which heat up enormously during afternoons. Meanwhile, the temperatures continue to rise in different parts of the state even as the Met officials have predicted isolated rains.