Waterspout Threat Over the Great Lakes This Weekend

By , Senior Meteorologist
October 19, 2013; 8:23 PM
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Boaters should use caution around the Great Lakes this weekend with waterspouts a danger.

The cold air plunging across warm waters of the Great Lakes is creating an environment conducive for waterspout formation.

Such danger exists over and along the shores of lakes Michigan and Huron through Saturday night, then around lakes Erie and Ontario on Saturday night and Sunday (especially in the morning).

The waterspouts will be isolated in nature, but boaters are reminded that it only takes one waterspout to put them in harm's way.

Like tornadoes, waterspouts can produce significant damage.

The structure of a waterspout is similar to that of a tornado, but waterspouts are very small and can last from a few minutes to a half an hour. They tend to dissipate once reaching land.

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Boaters are reminded to never try to navigate through a waterspout. Despite usually being weaker than a tornado, waterspouts can still seriously damage a boat and cause injuries.

Boaters are urged to immediately move at a 90-degree angle from the motion of the waterspout, once it is spotted.

Even in the absence of waterspouts, operators of small craft are facing higher-than-normal waves across the Great Lakes this weekend.

While diminishing across the western Great Lakes on Sunday, the waterspout danger will return on Monday with the arrival of fresh cold air.

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