Weather is an interesting topic. Do you notice that weather seems to be the easiest topic to bring up in a conversation, especially when you just meet someone, or have nothing else to say?

I find myself doing that more often than I'd like. So, interesting weather we're having today, don't you think? Oops, there I go again.

Well, as long as we are on the subject of weather, how about a fun fact about a weather-related topic? It's about waterspouts. Are you aware of what a waterspout is?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, otherwise known as NOAA, a waterspout is a "whirling column of air and water mist.

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But, I bet you didn't know that there are two categories of waterspouts. One is a fair-weather waterspout and the other is a tornadic waterspout. So, what is the difference?

NOAA explains it simply like this:

  • A fair-weather waterspout normally forms along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds and is not usually associated with thunderstorms. This type of waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward.
  • A tornadic waterspout forms over water or moves from land to water and has the same characteristics as a land tornado. It is associated with severe thunderstorms.

NOAA also notes that normally, fair weather waterspouts dissipate rapidly when they make landfall, rarely penetrating far inland.

Would you like to see what a fair-weather waterspout looks like? Well, it is a good thing we have the video. Here's a shot of a waterspout from the WNYT Newschannel 13 Albany, New York Facebook page of a waterspout at Averill Park, which is just east of the city.

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