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waterspouts 101

Beautiful to some, certainly dangerous and generally misunderstood, waterspouts are fairly common on the Outer Banks. We love this great piece by journalist D. Creeksong for the Ocracoke Observer, that shares one visitor’s encounter with some wiley waterspouts. It’s full of great info and reminds us just how little is known about these open water phenomenon.

Waterspout with Rodanthe in the foreground. Photo USA Today.

Waterspout with Rodanthe in the foreground. Photo USA Today.

“Visiting photographer Summer Brown scanned the ocean for a waterspout close enough to shoot–having no idea she’d be attempting to outrun it minutes later.

It was the afternoon of June 30 at the NPS campground.

A large, black-bottomed cluster of blossoming cumulus clouds was heading down the Atlantic side of the island. It had already produced several spindly spouts some distance away.

A large, black-bottomed cluster of blossoming cumulus clouds was heading down the Atlantic side of the island. It had already produced several spindly spouts some distance away.

Brown’s brother pointed to a spot offshore and asked what was happening to the water.

“It was another spout!” she said. “Water was whipping up into the air in a circular pattern with no column.”

Fascinated, she snapped off two shots before they noticed the spout was heading straight for them.”

Learn more about waterspouts in the rest of this story on the Ocracoke Observer.

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