What's A Fair Weather Waterspout?

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5 May 2018 8:54 PM
A waterspout was reported late Saturday afternoon near Key West, Florida. According to the National Weather Service in Key West, there were reports that it was very thin but caused damage to a dock and even a few boats at the Key West Sailing Center on Garrison Bight. However, this waterspout was not associated with a severe thunderstorm like others we've mentioned before. This kind of whirlwind is what we call a fair weather waterspout. Fair weather waterspouts happen underneath a line of cumulus clouds and typically occur when it's very humid and the water is fairly warm. The atmosphere becomes unstable and there is a convergence of air at the lower levels, which creates a spin. As this "spin" rises up, the column of air creates a waterspout from the water up into the sky (and usually one that is on the weaker side but can still be dangerous to boaters and cause damage). CLICK HERE to learn more about the different types of whirlwinds! For WeatherNation, I'm Meteorologist Meredith Garofalo  
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