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Tornado on the Côte d’Azur

Winds of up to 150km per hour could have spelt disaster

Yesterday morning a mini tornado was spotted off the coast of Cap Ferrat and could be seen all the way from Villefranche to Menton. The tornado started out at sea, some two to three nautical miles off the Cap. However, according to Christopher Jacolin, a meteorologist for Météo France, this is not an unusual phenomeon at this time of year and is caused by the coming together of three ingredients: high humidity; a still warm Mediterranean sea; and very cold cloud cover. He explained that “this sort of tube can measure from tens of metres to 150 in diameter, if not more,” and can be very dangerous with winds reaching up to 150km per hour. Luckily yesterday there were no boats in the path of the whirlwind which was similar to one sighted last month off Cap d’Antibes.