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Dommy

I Saw A Waterspout In A Snow Shower

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I had taken a lift to my class today and the road takes me past the coast with great views of the sea, including Sunderland to the north and Teeside to the south. When I got near to Seaham in County Durham, I saw a snow shower over the sea, it was very heavy and from the back edge of the shower in a clear zone under the cloud I saw a funnel taking shape, I commented on it to the others in the car. I looked towards the area of the funnel and saw a rotating swirl of spray; clearly a waterspout.

This happened around 1.30 this afternoon (16th December 2010)

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Waterspouts are probably the most common thing to see in the UK in the tornado world, although still rare to see one. Good spot.

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Very interesting. I wounder what caused it.

Maybe it was a mixture of rising air from the North Sea, the cold northerly wind and some influence from the snow shower itself, all mixing to cause the vortex. Any other theories?

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According to a wikipedia article:

Snowspout

A winter waterspout, also known as a snow devil, an icespout, an ice devil, a snonado, or a snowspout, is an extremely rare instance of a waterspout forming under the base of a snow squall.[12][13] The term "winter waterspout" is used to differentiate between the common warm season waterspout and this rare winter season event. Very little is known about this phenomenon and only six known pictures of this event exist to date, four of which were taken in Ontario, Canada. There are a couple of critical criteria for the formation of a winter waterspout. Extremely cold temperatures need to be present over a body of warm water enough to produce fog resembling steam above the water's surface; this requires a 19°C (34°F) temperature difference between the water and the invading surface air mass. Like the more efficient lake-effect snow events, winds focusing down the axis of long lakes enhance wind convergence and likely enhance their development.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterspout

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