What is a snorkel, observed in the sky over Yonne this Friday?

Residents of western Sénonais, particularly in the towns of Chéroy and Villethierry, were able to see a “snorkel” in the sky this Friday, May 24, while storms were raging in this part of the Yonne. Clément Meirone, creator of Météo 89, explains the phenomenon.

A strange cloud with an appendage. The residents of Chéroy and Villethierry, in the north of Yonne, had reason to be surprised and were quick to take out their cell phones. Photos sent directly to Météo 89.

Amazing clouds taken in photos by Internet users in the sky of Yonne

Clément Meirone, consulting weather engineer and creator of Météo 89, is not so surprised. “There have been quite a few lately, in the Central region, in Indre and in Eure-et-Loire, where it even went as far as a tornado.” But in the department, “it’s not very common. We see them once or twice a year. Each snorkel is different, smaller, wider… This one was rather developed.”

Stormy showers, “a favorable context”

The “vortex phenomenon” occurs “in unstable weather, like today. We have had many small stormy showers, it’s a favorable context,” explains Clément Meirone. “This snorkel accompanied the storm cell which caused quite a bit of hail, with accumulation on the road and significant runoff. But the snorkel itself is not dangerous.”

A harmless phenomenon

In this it differs from the tornado. “The snorkel does not touch the ground, that’s the difference. It is completely harmless, it has no consequences, even if you are underneath. The gusts are only triggered if it hits the ground, and that didn’t seem to be the case here.”

The snorkel, generally visible for around fifteen minutes, evaporates on its own. “But we could have others elsewhere today, it’s possible.” Then the weather will stabilize in Yonne and the weekend will not be conducive to strange clouds.

Firefighters. Firefighters intervened late in the afternoon in the north of the department, following bad weather. They were called to a mudslide in the town of Les Bordes, where municipal employees were already working to clear the road. A few other floods were reported near Cravant and Chéroy in private homes and another in Villeneuve-sur-Guyard, on the D103.

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Lucile Preux



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