What Is A Waterspout?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Waterspouts are basically tornadoes that occur over water. They're generally weaker but can cause damage to ships out on the water. They've also been known to suck marine life, such as frogs and fish, out of a body of water and have then "rain" down on land.

But around here, we commonly get what are called "cold core" funnel clouds/waterspouts/tornadoes. (Funnel clouds are funnels that don't reach the ground) They are different from typical devastating Midwest tornadoes in that these have wind speeds that are much slower (generally under 70 mph) and can be spawned from non-severe storms.

These occur when you have cold, unstable air moving into the area. Cold-core funnels rarely reach the ground, and if they do, such as this one did over Commencement Bay, they rarely cause any damage.

Your Photos

YouNews First of Spring.... Mount Baker First of Spring.... Mount Baker
This is the Grand Lady of the north ...... all laden with the winters snow. What a site to see.
YouNews  Amazing Storm Cell Amazing Storm Cell
I took a few photos of the small but strong storm cell that toppled trees at Dash Point State Park. From our view we could see the cell rotating over Sea-Tac Airport. The colors were amazing, the cloud formations were beautiful.
YouNews Seattle Rainbow Seattle Rainbow
Evening rainbow from Queen Anne using fisheye lens, 17 April 2014