Cool double waterspout over Lake Michigan today (video)

A pretty cool double waterspout developed in Lake Michigan today off of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

A lot of people got videos.  I’ve included two below, the first apparently amateur, and the second from the AP.lake-michigan-waterspout

The AP video is pretty cool because even though the quality is just so-so, it catches the very beginning of the waterspout, as it comes down to the water, then becomes huge over the next minute or so.


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  • dula

    Damn, I was hoping to save money by going to Lake Michigan instead of the Caribbean.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    I’ve seen one dust devil and damage from another, both in the Great Lakes region. Both were small by your standards. The damage I saw was a ripped-up asphalt road. The one I witnessed scared the hell out of me – thought it was gonna lift up a parked Buick. I took refuge and it dissipated.

    We also get cold air funnels around here. They don’t often touch down, and when they do, they don’t often last long. They can be as dangerous as a real tornado nonetheless. They aren’t always associated with storms, and generally form behind a major cold front in the rear quarter of a low-pressure area.

    Judging by the weather at the time, these waterspouts may well have been cold-air funnels.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Certain times of the year, we get dust devils frequently here in NM. And not little ones either. We’re talking vortices that have been big enough to damage buildings and cause car accidents.

  • ArthurH

    Over the desert they are called Dust Devils. The Weather Channel had footage of six Dust Devils in two rows south of an Arizona town called Happy Jack. But I suppose they weren’t all that happy at that time.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    This happened in the area of Kenosha. However, I suspect that the white balance on his camera was off. No way it really looks that blue, and the clouds also look excessively blue.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah I was wondering about that too. It’s a bit odd. Don’t know if he’s using a filter or what.

  • dula

    Anyone know what area of Lake Michigan has such light blue water (third video)?

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Boy, that could have been nasty if it had come ashore. Notice that for a time, there was a second vortex rotating around the backside main one.

    Some years ago we had a tornado that formed just as it was heading out into the bay of Green Bay from Menominee, Michigan. It held together as a waterspout across the bay and landed in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. Caused considerable damage, was probably rated an EF3. I have pictures of the defoliated and broken trees from that one.

    I vividly remember this one as I was a Skywarn radio operator on duty at the NWS who was able to get the word out to one of our spotter liaisons on the Wisconsin side before it hit land. He managed to get his neighbor out of his house before it was destroyed. The liaison’s radio tower was taken down in that one.

    Just because they are over water, does not mean they are to be taken lightly. Depending on the storm motion, they can hit land quicker than you would expect (hard to judge distance/direction when they are over water) and the next thing you see is flying cows. At least it’s that way in Wisconsin.

  • Indigo

    Nice.

  • NorskBamse

    Phil, water temps in Lake Michigan are between 60-72F. Water temps in the formation area of the waterspouts were ca. 62F. It is rare for water temps in Lake Michigan to ever get above 75F except in shallow waters and very isolated inlets. Over here on the Lake Huron side of Michigan, waterspouts are fewer than that of Lake Michigan. Most of the time formation is due to supercell storms coming onshore in the Thumb or over towards Ontario, Canada.

  • pricknick

    Yea. Really cool unless you’re in a boat nearby.

  • Phil

    They’re not as uncommon as you’d think in the early Fall over the lower Great Lakes. It takes warm water and relatively cooler air to create perfect conditions. It was in the upper 70’s locally today, but the lake water is in the 80’s. Throw a thunderstorm into the mix and voila. This is a video from a few years ago of 5 simultaneous ones in the middle of the lake. http://youtu.be/IJILN4vaTkY.

    They’re very common in Florida, especially in the summer.

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