Tornadoes of the Sea

A waterspout over Florida.

This dramatic image shows a waterspout formed off the coast of Florida. Waterspouts come in two varieties: tornadic and fair-weather. Both types can be dangerous to anyone caught up in them, though the tornadic variety, which are usually associated with severe thunderstorms, is generally worse. Tornadic waterspouts can form top-down from a thunderstorm or when a tornado moves from land to water. Fair-weather waterspouts, on the other hand, typically form from the bottom, in a similar fashion to dust devils and other fair-weather vortices. (Image credit: J. Mole; via APOD)

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