Damaging tornado hits Antwerp, Belgium

Damaging tornado hits Antwerp, Belgium

A tornado ripped through the city of Antwerp in Belgium on Monday, October 5, 2020. Numerous trees were downed, while at least one house suffered considerable damage. No injuries were reported.

The twister formed Monday afternoon, north of Antwerp. It then moved towards Keren, Brasschaat, and Kapellen. According to witnesses, the violent storm knocked down many trees along its path.

A weeping willow was uprooted, inflicting damage to a house in Heidestraat. Other material properties were also damaged, such as garden furniture.

"What we saw this afternoon in Antwerp was a beautiful example of a wall cloud in a supercell, a heavy type of thunderstorm," explained weather specialist Martijn Peters of DPG Media. 

"A wall cloud is created where the air is sucked up in the thunderstorm. The air cools down quickly and also condenses quickly, causing clouds to form at a lower altitude. So part of the cloud hangs lower than the rest, as it were, which is then called the wall cloud."

Peters added, "With supercell thunderstorms, the wind speeds and directions are very different in the top and bottom layer, resulting in rotation. And that looks spectacular when the whole wall cloud starts to spin."

"That is also the sign that a whirlwind may arise: a strong rotating column of air that connects the clouds to the earth's surface. Fortunately, this does not happen often in Belgium, and certainly not in the autumn period."

Featured image credit: Onlineweather Stormchasers

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