A Giant Waterspout off Australia

I happened to catch this yesterday morning courtesy of the BBC News and when I showed it to family members last night the agreement was it was something else. Watch it all–KSH.


Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

6 comments on “A Giant Waterspout off Australia

  1. NoVA Scout says:

    I grew up in a high-tornado-risk part of the country and, as a child, always found them (and even the idea of them) sinister and frightening. Later, in a life that included a lot of time at sea, seeing them on the water and contemplating what they could do to my vessel was equally demoralizing. The good thing about the ones at sea is that they are easier to see at a distance, you have more options for avoidance (although boats and ships don’t go nearly fast enough for comfort when one of them is around) and they don’t have very much debris to them. High velocity debris inflicts a lot of casualties in the landside storms.

  2. Uh Clint says:

    That is a waterspout. I’ve seen them in Florida and Mexico; they’re generally the classic “rope” tornado, and seldom very violent (EF0) or long-lived. That one isn’t what I’d consider a “giant”; the camera is so close to it the perspective makes it seem large, but if you look at the diameter of the disturbance at water level (judging from wave sizes, the “inner core” excluding the debris field [water spray] is in the 10-20 foot range) and the height to the clouds (appears to be no more than 200 feet or so) you’ll see that compared to a major tornado (width at ground 1/4 to 1/2 mile) it’s quite modest.

    I’ve also seen tornados in Oklahoma and Texas – they were *much* larger………………..

  3. drjoan says:

    It looks like this is spinning counter clockwise. I thought south of the equator they spun clockwise. For what it’s worth.
    Also, it looks like the cliffs kind of dissipated the spout.

  4. Ross says:

    Tornadoes can spin either way, although there apparently is a tendency for them to spin clockwise in the south and counter-clockwise in the north. The Coriolis Effect is too small across the diameter of a tornado for it to outweigh other local conditions; just like the water in a sink or bathtub which — despite persistent urban myth — swirls down the drain whichever way it pleases regardless of hemisphere.

    Hurricanes, being vastly larger than tornadoes, do always spin in the direction dictated by the Coriolis Effect.

  5. readerjames says:

    I was on the bridge when our ocean-going minesweeper encountered a waterspout. We had neither the speed nor the maneuverability to avoid it – and they were everywhere. No damage, except it made a mess of the signal bridge. I was protecting my logbook with my life!

    The phenomenon is truly beautiful, worthy of being named in the Benedicite. I’ve never seen one making landfall before. Thanks!

  6. Chris says:

    we get these in the Low Country pretty often. Kendall is out in S’ville so he worries not….