A local resident spotted a waterspout over waters near Galveston Island Sunday morning.
“I just happened to see it. It looks like it’s touching down. Wow. That is just amazing,” the man said in a video.
KPRC Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley said waterspouts are the same as tornadoes only over water. They can be dangerous if they move over land, capable of 100 mph winds.
A waterspout is a whirling column of air and water mist, according to the NOAA’s National Weather Service. Waterspouts fall into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.
Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water or move from land to water. They are commonly associated with severe thunderstorms.
While fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds.
While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward, according to the National Weather Service. These waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.