Massive waterspout tornado forms off the coast of southern Thailand
Footage shows a massive waterspout tornado that formed off the coast of southern Thailand on Friday afternoon November 12.
The rare weather phenomenon was seen by gobsmacked locals rising from the sea in Chumphon province late in the afternoon.
It whipped up a large cloud of mist from the choppy sea while stretching to the grey clouds above.
Onlooker Supaporn Plodchim watched the powerful waterspout as it moved across the water surface before dissipating a few minutes later.
She said there had also been an intense tropical downpour of rain shortly before the waterspout tornado.
Waterspout tornadoes form when wind merges from opposite directions near the water’s surface, creating a small area of spin. Warm air at the surface causes the spinning air to rotate faster and it starts to rise – picking up water at the same time and forming a cloud.
Sometimes the air spins so fast that it stretches and a funnel appears from the water to the thunderstorm cloud above.
Waterspouts are generally not dangerous but they can be a risk for aircraft flying through the area and for coral reefs and marine life in the water immediately below. Sailors should also try to avoid waterspouts – as the consequences of floating into one could be disastrous.