Dramatic footage of a waterspout that appeared over coastal waters in Destin, Northwest Florida has surfaced online. The weather-related event is massive compared to the average swirling vortex of air.
The clip shared by Instagram user Boo Freeman shows a massive waterspout looming over the waterbody in the backdrop of skyscrapers accompanied by lightning. The large tornado-like funnel seemed to connect the ocean and the sky.
The bizarre weather formation shocked and horrified locals in the area, who were forced to drive past it during their morning commutes to and from work.
Thunderstorms helped produce a massive waterspout off the coast of Destin, Fla., wowing people who saw the video of the cool-looking weather phenomenon.
If you’ve never seen a waterspout before, you might think it’s a tornado happening over water instead of land – and that’s pretty much what is going on.
Watch the video below:
To understand the conditions needed to form a waterspout, according to the National Weather Service, you’ve got to understand vorticity or an area of localized spin.
For vorticity to occur, winds from opposing directions have to meet over a small area — or you have increasing winds coming from any direction.
“For example, a wind out of the west at the coastline and a wind out of the east 5 miles offshore would form a pool of vorticity in the immediate vicinity of the coast,” the NWS Mobile location in Alabama said on Twitter.
A marine warning was issued by the National Weather Service in the wake of the waterspout.
CBS News reported the waterspout which hit the Destin coast did not touch land and moved away from the shore after developing.
Jeff Berardelli, a meteorologist, was quoted as saying by Fox4kc that it was a tornadic waterspout—a tornado moving over water—rather than a fair weather waterspout.
Citing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, CBS News said that a waterspout is a “whirling column of air and water mist.” During mild weather, “fair weather” waterspouts are witnessed whereas “tornadic” waterspouts are seen during severe thunderstorms and exhibit common qualities of a tornado.
According to AWM, readers shared hundreds of comments about this Florida waterspout.
“Spectacular footage. The beach in the Panhandle is beautiful, and it is lovely to watch when a storm rolls in.”
“While working on the family shrimp boats when young, we saw a lot of them, albeit much smaller than the one shown. Seemed sort of common when squalls were coming in, but we were too busy pulling up the gear before the storm arrived to gawk at them much.”
“As a Floridian, I can assure you that waterspouts don’t scare us.”
Florida frequently witnesses waterspouts and terrifying clips go viral. In March this year, a large waterspout left beachgoers shocked in Florida. Videos that surfaced online showed people screaming and running away from the shore after a large vortex appeared closer to the beach. No injuries or fatalities were reported.