Photos: California Storm Hits Coast with Waterspouts

October 15, 2012; 5:00 AM ET
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Photos: California Storm Hits Coast with Waterspouts

The cold air brought in by last week's storm in California, over summer-warmed ocean waters, caused a few waterspouts on Thursday and Friday

Storified by Accu Weather · Sat, Oct 13 2012 12:14:06

Here's picture I took of what looks like funnel cloud / water spout near Seal Beach this morning Yost
The cold air brought in by last week's storm in California, over summer-warmed ocean waters, caused a few waterspouts on Thursday and Friday. A waterspout was sighted Friday morning by Long Beach Airport, about 10 miles to southeast of the airport. Around the same time, Fox affiliate KTTV-11 spotted a waterspout near shore of Sunset Beach in Orange County.

Waterspouts are short-lived tornado-like funnels that form over water, due in part to tremendous differences in temperatures well up the atmosphere and on the water surface.
Waterspouts are commonplace during this time of year. Cold air moving over the warm ocean waters causes the atmospheric instability that forms waterspouts. Water temperatures are usually at their peak following the summer months. The greater the difference between the water temperature and the air aloft the more unstable conditions and the stronger the waterspout potential.
While a natural balancing act between air and water temperatures tends to take place rather quickly as we head deeper into the autumn months, waterspouts are typical deep into October.
From the OC Register:"'There's been a few water spouts and heavy showers parallel to most of the Orange County coast line,' said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Watkins. 'Everything's dissipating this afternoon. It should be a nice sunny weekend.'

'We didn't have any significant winds, but there was one small squall that left us with a lot of rain,' Newport Beach lifeguard John Moore. 'Other than that, it's been pretty normal and we had one water spout about three and a half to four miles off shore.'"
Water spout spotted in NewportAt least one water spout was spotted along the Orange County coast on Friday, but the storm moved on and forecasters expect sunny skies t...
Waterspouts are often awe-inspiring when viewed from a safe place onshore, but sometimes they can be destructive.

Mariners should always treat every waterspout seriously since they can easily toss about vessels like toys. Rarely, significant damage can occur if they move inland.


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