A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water, connected to a cumuliform cloud. In the common form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water. While it is often weaker than most of its land counterparts, stronger versions spawned by mesocyclones do occur. Waterspouts do not suck up water; the water seen in the main funnel cloud is actually water droplets formed by condensation. While many waterspouts form in the tropics, other areas also report waterspouts, including Europe, New Zealand, the Great Lakes and Antarctica. Although rare, waterspouts have been observed in connection with lake-effect snow precipitation bands.
The Maelstrom When you hear a name like maelstrom, you just know it’s about something wicked. Introduced in English by Edgar Allan Poe from the Nordic languages, from which it came from the Dutch word maelstrom (maalstroom in modern spelling), it literally means crushing current, which is quite a very good description. A maelstom is [...]