The moment a colossal waterspout rips through the Gulf of Mexico along the coast of Destin, Florida on Tuesday has been captured on film, revealing a weather phenomenon that left the residents in awe and fear.
A waterspout is a whirling column of air and water mist that forms when cumulus clouds grow fast. They can be called water tornados.
The huge funnel was seen around 7 am ET at the Emerald Coast.
Residents captured it on camera. One resident, Boo Freeman spotted the waterspout out in the distance of the sea as he stood on an empty beach watching in awe. ‘What a morning,’ Freeman shared on Instagram with the short video.
AccuWeather’s Jesse Ferrell said this was not a typical waterspout.
‘It looks like this was a legitimate tornado over water formed by a supercell thunderstorm, not a weak waterspout spun up from a rain shower,’ Ferrell explained.
Weather data said that there was a heavy thunderstorm expected near the shoreline.
The National Weather Service issued a special marine warning shortly after the waterspout was sighted, asking boaters and swimmers to stay out of the water.
This waterspout is the fifth reported in Florida’s Panhandle area this summer.
The funnel swept across Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay on August 5 and destroyed several houses and injured one person.
Posting the clip, he wrote: ‘Amy and the kids are on Smith Island this week. She just sent me this. Thankful everyone is ok. Lots of damage though.’
One user responded: ‘Houses and materialistic things can be rebuilt. Lives cannot. God is good and had his protection over all the people on the island.’
Another commented: ‘OMG that’s the worst one I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how they were able to stay right there at the water and watch it. I would have been running for cover and scared to death.’
More than $10,000 has been raised for recovery and cleanup efforts after the tornado demolished many homes and businesses.
This has been the result of intense humidity and heat in the area.
Two others also in the 51-second clip shout out, ‘Where are the kids?’ as the waterspout goes up the bank and makes its way further onto land.
The mother-of-two reassures the others that her children were inside.
‘Also several shanties were destroyed as well as a boat flipped over,’ Daniel Somers told Chesapeake Bay magazine.