Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seattle Waterspout

Waterspout Hits Southern Puget Sound:

: Cliff Mass Weather Blog Monday, October 13, 2014

First Tornado Warning Here in 17 Years

On Saturday around noon, several of you were startled to get a tornado warning on your smartphones.

The cause: a waterspout that developed near Anderson Island in the southern Sound and which remained intact for about a half-hour. Here are some pics I found on the KOMO and KING-5 web sites. An extremely well-formed funnel and you can see from the first that the winds reached the surface, kicking up lots of spray.                            Beautiful pictures:
Waterspouts are the weaker cousins of the strong tornadoes one finds over the Midwest U.S.
According to the official Storm Prediction Center definition:

A waterspout is a tornado over water--usually meaning non-supercell tornadoes over water. Waterspouts are common along the southeast U. S. coast and can happen over seas, bays and lakes worldwide. Although waterspouts are always tornadoes by definition; they don't officially count in tornado records unless they hit land. They are smaller and weaker than the most intense Great Plains tornadoes, but still can be quite dangerous. Waterspouts can overturn boats, damage larger ships, do significant damage when hitting land, and kill people.

This waterspot, and virtually all of our waterspouts/tornadoes around here, are associated with non-supercell thunderstorms. Supercells are the big Kahunas of the thunderstorm world with very high tops (reaching 40-60K ft), intense rain, hail, and most importantly rotation.

This waterspout came out of a relatively wimpy NW thunderstorm.
Impressive for around here. But equally strong thunderstorms were hitting in the north Sound with no waterspouts. No sign of any hooked echoes...which indicate supercell storms.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Most Popular Posts This Month