Huge waterspout looms over Cuban coastal city

Huge waterspout looms over Cuban coastal city as it swirls above the sea in stunning footage

  • Alvaro Pérez Senra captured a huge waterspout over Cienfuegos Bay, Cuba
  • The sinister-looking water tornado only spun around in the sky for ten minutes 
  • There was no damage reported from the weather phenomenon last Saturday

An ominous-looking water tornado hanging over Cienfuegos Bay in Cuba made for a chilling sight when it swirled in the sky.

Stunning footage of the weather phenomenon shows the huge funnel shaped waterspout hovering amidst the clouds.

While it was a daunting sight, there was no damage reported from the waterspout and it only swirled for around ten minutes on Saturday.

The air and mist can be seen forming into a funnel shaped vortex of water vapor over the coast. 

According to the Cienfuegos Provincial Meteorological Centre, the waterspout swirled between 4.50pm to 5pm.

Sharing a photo of the visually stunning tornado, Virgilio Regueira, a Senior Specialist of the Forecasting and Marine Meteorology Group at the centre said in a Facebook post: ‘Another waterspout in the bay of Cienfuegos.

‘It seems that the presence of these dangerous phenomena in our estuary has become common since June 1.

‘Be careful, without a doubt it is a beautiful show, but be very careful because we know that they are very dangerous.’ 

The waterspout looms like a dark cloud over the bay as it swirls around in the sky

Palm trees shaking in the wind can also be seen in the clips, shared by meteorologist Alvaro Pérez Senra on October 16

What are they and why do they form?

Waterspouts are whirling columns of air and water mist.

They form when cumulus clouds grow rapidly. These clouds are detached, fluffy-looking and cauliflower-shaped.

Cumulus clouds develop due to convection. This is when hot air rises and cools to form water vapour, which then condenses to form clouds. 

They fall into two categories: ‘fair weather’ and ‘tornadic’ 

(1) Tornadic waterspouts 

These are tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water, and develop downwards during thunderstorms.

They have the same characteristics as a land tornado and can be accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail and lightning.

(2) Fair weather waterspouts 

These usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds and develop upwards from the surface of water.

They are generally not associated with thunderstorms and form in light wind conditions so don’t move very much. 

The five stages of formation 

1. Dark spot: A light-coloured disk appears on the water’s surface surrounded by a larger darker area

2. Spiral pattern: A combination of light and dark patches on the water spiral out from the dark spot

3. Spray ring: A ring of sea spray appears around the dark spot

4. Mature vortex: The waterspout reaches maximum intensity, making a funnel shape which appears hollow. It can rise several hundred feet.

5. Decay: The funnel and spray vortex begin to dissipate as the inflow of warm air into the vortex weakens

Sources: Met Office / National Ocean Service / National Weather Service

Palm trees shaking in the wind can also be seen in the clips.

The original two videos were shared by meteorologist Alvaro Pérez Senra on October 16 and have together garnered over five thousand views since.

While they are often called rare, waterspouts are a fairly common phenomenon, especially in warmer tropical climates.

In Cienfuegos alone, at least three waterspouts including this one have been reported since June 1, according to Today in-24.

The waterspout develops into a funnel shaped vortex 

The waterspout only swirls around in the sky for ten minutes 

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