Sunday, April 1, 2018

What are Waterspouts

Tornadoes that form over water are called as waterspouts. A waterspout is a strong columnar whirlpool that resembles funnel shaped cloud and move over water. At times they form over water and move over land from water. A waterspout could be accompanied by heavy hail storm, lightnings and strong winds. A waterspout has a five part life cycle, which include a dark spot formation on the water surface followed by spiral pattern of water surface and formation of a spray ring along with a development of visible cloud like condensation funnel which finally decays.

Waterspouts can form in an area less than 2 km in width. The column of rotating cloud that is funnel shaped, descends over water. This cloud that develops could be mild or even harmful. Some of the waterspouts formed are strong and usually tornadic in nature. At times these waterspouts could be mild and weak. Such mild waterspouts are caused by different atmospheric pressures and develop in moisture laden environment. Though weaker than a tornado, waterspout can still manage to cause considerable damage to it's surroundings.

Where are waterspouts witnessed?

Waterspouts are witnessed in tropics and subtropical areas. Europe, Australia, New Zealand have common occurrences of waterspout. One of the area which witness waterspouts frequently is Florida Keys with around 400 waterspouts approximately around the world. 

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