Waterspout

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Waterspouts seen from the beach at Kijkduin near The Hague, the Netherlands on August 27, 2006
A waterspout near Florida

A waterspout is a funnel cloud over water. It is a nonsupercell tornado over water. Waterspouts do not suck up water; the water seen in the main funnel cloud is actually water droplets formed by condensation.[1] It is weaker than most of its land counterparts.[2]

Types[change | edit source]

Non-tornadic[change | edit source]

Waterspouts that are not associated with a rotating updraft of a supercell thunderstorm, are known as "nontornadic" or "fair-weather waterspouts", and are by far the most common type.[3]

Fair-weather waterspouts occur in coastal waters and are associated with dark, flat-bottomed, developing convective cumulus towers.

A pair of waterspouts off the Bahamas

Snowspout[change | edit source]

A winter waterspout, also known as a snow devil, an icespout, an ice devil, a snonado, or a snowspout, is a very rare meteorological phenomenon in which a vortex from snow develops that looks like a waterspout.[4] One does not know much about this rare happening and there are only six known pictures of this event so far.

There are three main things that produce a winter waterspout:

  • Very cold temperatures present over a body of warm water enough to produce fog that looks like steam above the water's surface. This usually needs temperatures of -18 °C or colder if the water temperature is no warmer than 5 °C.
  • Lake-effect snows in a small, enclosed or banded formation must be present and going on.
  • The wind speed has to be slow, usually less than 5 knots (9.25 km/h).

Other pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Encyclopædia Britannica (2009). "Waterspout". http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/637532/waterspout. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  2. Glossary of Meteorology. Waterspout. Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
  3. Gale Schools. Fair weather waterspout. Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
  4. weather.com - Glossary

Other websites[change | edit source]

http://aoss-research.engin.umich.edu/PlanetaryEnvironmentResearchLaboratory/