SLIDESHOW | Lake Erie waterspouts spotted from Channel 3

Two waterspouts were spotted on Lake Erie from the WKYC balcony Thursday morning.

A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex that occurs over a body of water. They are connected to a towering cumuliform cloud or a cumulonimbus cloud. In the common form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water.

Waterspouts, or cold air funnels, can develop when unusually cold air passes above the relatively warmer waters of Lake Erie. While the lake water temperature is 69 degrees off Cleveland lakefront, the air above will be considerably colder.

While waterspouts rarely come ashore, they can be dangerous to boaters as gusty winds can slam into boats and damage or capsize them without warning. Boaters should always steer clear of waterspouts.


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