Gauteng 'tornadoes' were probably just dust and hot air: SA Weather Service

The SA Weather Service has dismissed speculation about tornadoes in Gauteng and Mpumalanga during this week's stormy weather.
The SA Weather Service has dismissed speculation about tornadoes in Gauteng and Mpumalanga during this week's stormy weather.
Image: 123RF/Rafael Ben-Ari

The South African Weather Service (Saws) on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of tornadoes hitting parts of Gauteng and Mpumalanga.  

This is after pictures of so-called tornadoes in Bapsfontein and Delmas, both east of Johannesburg, were circulated on social media.

“As the weather service, we can confirm it was definitely not a tornado, most likely just dust levels [being picked up by the wind],” said forecaster Edward Engelbrecht. 

He said high dust levels were fairly common on hot days.

Engelbrecht said the circulated images appeared to show tornadoes, but it was actually just air rising rapidly.

“It looked very much like a tornado, but it was actually air. The difference is that it rises rapidly and usually lasts a minute or so. It does not cause any damage,” he told TimesLIVE. 

Saws said soft rains would continue throughout the night in Gauteng and were likely to end in the early hours of Thursday. There was a 60% chance of afternoon thunderstorms in Gauteng and Mpumalanga throughout the week.

The service said no extreme weather condition were forecast, but constant updates would be issued.


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