Large waterspout spotted near Tanjong Pagar Terminal

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Ominous dark skies and clouds were seen in the background, with the waterspout extending from the clouds to the sea. PHOTOS: GRACE NG/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A large waterspout was spotted off Singapore's shores on Saturday morning (May 11).

Facebook user Grace Ng posted three videos of the waterspout near Tanjong Pagar Terminal.

The videos show ominous dark skies and clouds in the background, with the waterspout extending from the clouds to the sea.

Her husband, Mr Justin Lim, 31, told The Straits Times that the videos were taken around 9am on Saturday from their condominium building at 76 Shenton Way, which is near Tanjong Pagar Terminal.

"It was about to rain and the skies were quite dark, and then I saw a line in the horizon, which started coming closer," Mr Lim, an economist, said.

It was the first time he saw a waterspout and was amazed at how close to the shore it came, he added.

"It was weak at the start, but it became bigger as it came closer," Mr Lim said.

The waterspout eased after 15 to 20 minutes, he noted.

Lawyer Miles Binney took a video of the phenomenon from The Sail @ Marina Bay at around 8.50am.

His two-year-old daughter had pointed it out to him and it was the first time he had seen a waterspout, he told ST.

"It was going down the straits and then turned straight into the docks," the 33-year-old said.

"Luckily it was fizzling out at that point. It looked much bigger when it was further out."

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Instagram user @frarsg, an Italian residing in Singapore, took a photo of the waterspout looming behind the Central Business District from the Mandarin Oriental at around 9.15am.

A video sent to citizen journalism site Stomp showed the waterspout moving behind the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands.

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According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), a waterspout is a short-lived weather phenomenon that is seen occasionally over Singapore's coastal waters, which usually dissipates rapidly on reaching the coast.

The lifespan of a waterspout varies from a few minutes to half an hour.

It typically forms beneath cumulus or cumulonimbus clouds over warm coastal waters just before showers begin.

The "funnel" is formed by water droplets in a rotating vortex of air.

A photo of the waterspout looming near Tanjong Pagar Terminal taken from the Mandarin Oriental. PHOTO: FRARSG/INSTAGRAM

In a tweet at 9.54am on Saturday, NEA issued a heavy rain warning, saying that moderate to heavy thundery showers with gusty wind were expected over southern, eastern and central areas of Singapore between 10.20am and 11am.

"PUB says flash floods may occur in the event of heavy rain," the tweet added.

The warning was later cancelled in a tweet at 10.32am, saying the heavy rain had eased.

Last January, a waterspout was spotted off the east coast as unusually strong winds sent boats flying at East Coast Park. It was accompanied by stormy weather and flood risk alerts as heavy rain fell on many parts of the island.

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