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Gulf of Mexico Waterspout


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I had a quick look around the photography forums for somewhere 'weather' related to put these images but couldn't find a suitable forum.


August, a couple of years ago we were fishing in a small bat about 10 miles of the coast of the 10,000 islands / Marco Island area of SW Florida and we were aware of a few late-morning storms in the area, though initially all were some distance away. However the sky over us quickly darkened and the following unfolded:


The first signs of a possible water spout formation was some disturbance on the water surface & a corresponding 'pointy' cloud (technical term I am sure!):


IMG_0715 by Whyone, on Flickr

As things developed, a strand of cloud appeared to be drawn down to the surface of the water:

IMG_0718 by Whyone, on Flickr

As circulation started, water water drawn-up into the formation:


IMG_0719 by Whyone, on Flickr
IMG_0721 by Whyone, on Flickr

This grows in size (and becomes quite noisy!):


IMG_0723 by Whyone, on Flickr
IMG_0726 by Whyone, on Flickr


IMG_0730 by Whyone, on Flickr

Eventually, 4 or 5 minutes after 'touch-down', the waterspout collapsed with a huge crash of falling water:


IMG_0731 by Whyone, on Flickr
The birds to the upper left of the waterspout are Magnificent Frigate Birds, and they seem to be attracted to waterspouts! Maybe there are dead/stunned fish on the surface after the spout has broken down?
We then got wet...very very wet!
IMG_0737 by Whyone, on Flickr
Edited by Whyone?
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Great pictures - I think I might be a bit scared in a small boat with this approaching!

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Wow! Must have been quite an amazing and scary experience! Great images!

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@@JohnR @@TonyQ and @@kittykat23uk thanks for your kind comments.


I suppose logically it should have been a worry - the water spout touched down only ~200 yards from our boat, but we were all just fascinated and amazed at what was going on. The anchor was pulled up and the engine started in case we needed to make a run for it.

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