Waterspouts Over the Adriatic Sea
Earth Science Picture of the Day.
No it’s not a photo-shopped image, it’s really a photograph taken by Roberto Giudici while on a boat trip to Brindisi, Italy, taken on July 23, 1999. The funnel clouds dropped from the sky in front of the boat, with the most resent funnel cloud in the foreground.
Waterspouts can generate winds over 70mph which would make it an F0 on the Fujita Scale. Waterspouts are similar to tornadoes over water. They are generally broken into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.
Tornadic waterspouts are simply tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado. They are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.
Fair Weather waterspouts are usually a less dangerous phenomena, but common over South Florida’s coastal waters from late spring to early fall. The term fair weather comes from the fact that this type of waterspout forms during fair and relatively calm weather, often during the early to mid morning and sometimes during the late afternoon.
Fair weather waterspouts usually form along dark flat bases of a line of developing cumulus clouds. This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms whereas tornadic waterspouts develop in severe thunderstorms. Tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm while a fair weather waterspout begins to develop on the surface of the water and works its way upward. By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity.
The spouts in this image were Fair weather waterspouts. Either way they’re pretty impressive!