Waterspout_July17_VirginaGreeneThe sight of a funnel dropping from a cloud can be scary combine that with crossing the high and narrow span of the Bay Bridge and you have a set up that could be concerning. That was what was captured on camera by Graham Peck with the first mention this morning.  Also on video by Virginia Greene (seen below). Also see multiple spouts in the photo below by Deborah Sanders.  Graham mentioned that there wasn’t even drizzle and I should point out that there was no forecast for this. Ironically there was a Marine Warning from the National Weather Service for a possible waterspout off Virginia Beach at 7:12 AM to 7:45 AM, roughly 200 miles away. Our funnel was around 8:45 AM. No relation to this event., just a coincidence.

So what is it?  A fair weather waterspout is not considered a severe storm. It can form in light wind with little movement.  These are more common when there is very warm water, a or a cold air mass with a sharp different between the air above and water below.

The funnel in this case likely built from the surface upward, and fully mature when visible.  Wind speeds rarely get above 65 mph, and if this was to reach land it would likely dissipate. But it could tip a boat over if one got close.  Usually these only last a few minutes. A tornadic waterspout on the other hand is formed in a thunderstorm and behaves like a tornado with faster winds and more damage likely.


Virginia recorded this from the passenger seat while heading from Annapolis to the Eastern Shore and looking south. In her message, she apologized for orienting the phone in vertical mode.  I just want to thank her dad for the shout out. Mr. Greene mentioned others forming… and Deborah Sanders confirmed that with her photos below this clip.


From Deborah Sanders


From Graham PeckWaterspoutBayGrahamPeck

Other Recent Waterspouts

April 20: Calvert County off Plum Point

Memorial Weekend: Waterspout video as it comes onshore and lifts a bounce house  with kids inside

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