The Year of the Waterspout?

It’s the Year of the Waterspout, sort of.  While waterspouts aren’t occurring any more than usual, we’re certainly seeing incredible video more often.

There’s video of one waterspout coming ashore on the Fort Morgan Peninsula Thursday morning.  Waterspouts like this are a weaker cousin of tornadoes, but more about that in a minute.  First, let’s rewind.

: One of the great advances in technology came when somebody decided to stick a camera on a cell phone.  Add social media and it changes the way we view weather.  The first pictures of this waterspout came in while it was still happening.

Geoff Milton sent us a picture of the Waterspout at 7:30am.  One thing you learn after years of comparing the sky to the radar is that things are often farther away than they appear.   Geoff was in Silverhill and the waterspout was off Fort Morgan.  There are some closer views that Nathan Perry, Amy Garrison, Lesley Singletary, and Rick Nash posted to our WKRG Facebook Page.

But nobody was closer than Joel Frey.  Joel watched and shared this surprisingly steady video as the waterspout came ashore, taking beach furniture and a boogie board with it.  Winds in most waterspouts are in the 40-70 mph range—similar to an EF0 tornado–but they can be stronger.  Unlike tornadoes, waterspouts don’t need a supercell thunderstorm, they’re born from rising air.

Waterspouts usually fall apart within a few hundred yards of coming onshore.  They put on a spectacular—and scary–show, but in most cases the damage they cause is minor and injuries are few.  This time the only casualties were the chairs and flying boogie board.

Thanks to all of our Facebook Fans, Twitter followers, and folks who email us pictures and videos of dramatic news and weather.  While we love great video, please don’t ever put yourself in danger.

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