Waterspouts – Tornadoes At Sea

Tim Konrad
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January 14, 2010

The Science Behind Waterspouts

When tornado’s strike over sea they are known as Waterspouts. The Florida Keys see the largest number of waterspouts per year with as many as 400 to 500 in a given season. In this video, captured last May, a rather large waterspout collides with a number of ships off the cost of Singapore.


Are waterspouts dangerous to ships?

A waterspout has a cloudy tube descending to the sea-surface. The sharp decrease in air-pressure inside the tube of a waterspout also explains why suction occurs when one is present. For this reason, as soon as the tube of a waterspout breaks contact with the sea-surface, all of the water being carried is dumped, falling to earth. A waterspout is capable of lifting and carrying particles of sand, water, stones, live sea creatures, and sometimes, people, roofs of houses, etc. All of these can be carried long distances. Waterspouts often cause some destruction at coastal beaches, frequently killing people. If a vessel at sea encounters a waterspout, it is a dangerous situation. oceansatlas.com

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