You might call them Cold Core Funnel Clouds or Waterspouts. We learned bout them our first year here, when we watched the funnel clouds move from the water to the shore and tear apart quite a few homes along the shore line. When a Cold Core Funnel Cloud hits the land, it is what you know of as a Tornado.
Yesterday, I saw several people share a weather warning about the waterspouts:
WEAK COLD CORE FUNNEL CLOUDS POSSIBLE AGAIN TODAY…
THE COMBINATION OF AN UNSEASONABLY COOL UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM AND THE STRONGEST SUNSHINE AND SURFACE HEATING OF THE YEAR IS CAUSING A VERY UNSTABLE AIR MASS NEAR THE SURFACE. AS A RESULT. STRONG UPDRAFTS WITHIN HEAVIER SHOWERS MAY RESULT IN WEAK ROTATION AND BRIEF COLD CORE FUNNEL CLOUDS TODAY. THESE FUNNEL CLOUDS ARE FAIRLY TYPICAL IN THIS WEATHER PATTERN AND RARELY TOUCH THE GROUND AS TORNADOES.
We were out in the water surfing – body surfing – boogie boarding – and just plain swimming around. I had the warning in the back of my mind while watching the cloud structures move north and south of us.
While playing on a longboard to the north of the group of surfers, I saw a funnel poke down from the cloud. Then I watched it stretch like taffy, not one continual pull, but bit by bit, as if stretching, until it hit the water.
I whooped and hollered and used our family yell to try to get their attention. They all gave me praise for making a wave and started clapping. Weirdos. I’d point behind them, and yell more and signal, and they’d keep encouraging me to get back up. Ha. By the time I finally swam over, the funnel was only 1/3 down from the cloud bottom to the ocean. I watched it stretch and go up and down in elevation. Pretty fascinating. It wasn’t too scary as the cloud was moving towards shore a couple of miles south of us.
When I got to shore, I asked any of the moms on the beach if they had gotten a photo of the funnel cloud. They didn’t know , or realize it was happening. After one of us got our fingers dry, they snagged my camera and took a few shots. These were taken several minutes after I got out of the water – maybe 15-20ish since I first saw it appear.
As you can see above, right above that house – when it hit shore the funnel shape stopped and it smooshed back into the cloud.
It did help us see that, when surfing with our club – we need some signals to let people know the differences of extreme joy of ripping a wave and danger out at sea. Going to go look at some fabric and PVC pipe this afternoon for our next event. If it had been coming our direction, there wouldn’t have been a way to get everyone out of the water. I read one article that said waterspouts are known to pick up frogs and fish and drop them onto land when it crosses over. Last thing we want to see is flying Tigershark Surf Club members! ha!