This giant waterspout was spotted from Tel Aviv’s marina in Israel on November 3, 2014! Majestic!
So what are waterspouts?
There are two categories o waterspout: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.
Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado. They are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning. Watch an example of a tornadic twister in Mexico.
Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds. This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms. The Tel Aviv’s waterspout is one of this kind:
While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward. By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity. Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.
If a waterspout moves onshore, the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, as some of them can cause significant damage and injuries to people. Typically, fair weather waterspouts dissipate rapidly when they make landfall, and rarely penetrate far inland.