Waterspout in San Francisco

Soon to be linked to “global warming” by some MSM type no doubt. Watch the video:

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36 Responses to Waterspout in San Francisco

  1. Brianp says:

    Ya we get those too

  2. The Monster says:

    Last waterspout I know of was the Jun 1978 one that capsized the Whippoorwill on Pomona Lake in Kansas, where we know a little bit about tornadoes. You’d think the operator would have known better than to go out on the water with heavy thunderstoms forecast, but maybe he thought he’d be OK since no tornado warning was issued before the accident.

    The ship wasn’t actually hit by the waterspout itself, but was pushed over by the peripheral winds, killing sixteen.

  3. Joseph in Florida says:

    Mr. Watts, it just has to be global warming! It is 86 here in Orlando this afternoon and only a few weeks ago we had temps in the 40s! At this rate we will melt by fall! Besides that from last night until this afternoon the temp has gone up almost 25 degrees. In one day!

    The Goricle was right!

    Now don’t try any of the fancy scientist crap about cycles or such — I’m wise to your game!

    :)

  4. polistra says:

    Oh no! It’s a rotating mushroom cloud, come straight from Japan! It’s a nukenado! Got to take a hundred Potassium Iodine [sic] tablets! Gulp, gulp, gulp. Oh no, now I feel awful! Must be radiation sickness despite the Potassium Iodine! Gotta take a hundred more!

  5. TrueNorthist says:

    We get those up here in BC as well. I saw one on Stave Lake back in ’95. Global Warming™ was just a wee baby then.

    Cheers!

  6. PaulH says:

    Looks cool! Of course, *I* would be headed in the opposite direction just as fast as my two feet can carry me. ;->

  7. Douglas DC says:

    Gee,what’s the big deal about water spouts? they are relatively common during spring
    weather seen a few myself on the Pacific Ocean -from land and dock alike.
    last one was in Coos Bay back in ’05….
    I think it’s the radiation from the reactors in Japan …
    make as much sense..

  8. Theo Goodwin says:

    I saw a few in the Gulf in the Sixties. Pretty cool!

  9. Jimmy Haigh says:

    NO! NO, NO NO NO!!! Not global warming!! That is so, like, last year?

    This waterspout was caused by anthropogenic climate change.

    /sarc

  10. Mark Wagner says:

    pretty.

    not so much when they come ashore.

  11. Mike Jowsey says:

    Way cool to surf through one of those!

  12. ShrNfr says:

    The freezing weather recently must have angered the ocean gods or Nancy, one or the other. They always spout off after.

  13. Latitude says:

    Doing a quick “Bing” using ‘waterspouts’ ‘California’…seems they are common

  14. gringojay says:

    Tempests have been know to escape the tea cup out at sea.

  15. SBVOR says:

    OMG! It’s Global Weirding!
    Everything Al Gore told me is TRUE!
    KIDDING!

  16. mr.artday says:

    As best I can tell, the waterspout is in the Pacific, not in the bay. It looks like off the coast of the Sunset district.

  17. rob m says:

    @Joseph – Don’t worry. The humidity will keep you from combusting.

  18. wws says:

    “Nukenado”, ROFL!!!!

    craziest waterspout story I read happened in the 19th century, same Naval types had a theory on how to break up a waterspout. So they sent an American warship (wooden) out to look for a likely storm that could cause one in the Gulf, with instructions to get as close to a waterspout as they could. They found one and headed straight for it. When the waterspout was almost on top of them they fired a cannon into it in the belief that would “break it”, somehow. Nope, didn’t hurt the waterspout a bit (there’s a surprise) but they did lose about a dozen sailors and suffered extensive damage when the waterspout barreled across the deck.

    Just another glorious moment in military history.

  19. Fukushima particulates combining with global warming.

    ;O)

  20. Pat Frank says:

    I grew up in South San Francisco, and remember the occasional water spout on the Bay when I was a kid. My parents lived there until 2 years ago, and in 2005, almost exactly 5 years ago to the day in fact, I stood on their front porch with my brother Jon and watched the funnel cloud of the first SSF F1 tornado hesitate a few times and then dip from the clouds and touch down a couple of miles away on Spruce Ave. Having watched many tornado videos, that one was clearly a sprout. But it took off a few roofs. Here’s a Youtube video of it.

  21. MikeL says:

    That was not a water spout as reported here on WUWT. It is really all of the CO2 being driven into the ocean from the atmosphere. Hopefully the AWG police will quickly cordon off this section of acidic ocean water so nobody gets acid burns. /sarc

  22. Daniel H says:

    They’ll either blame global warming, the Mayan 2012 doomsday prophecy, SuperMoon gravity, or all of the above. Natural variability of the weather system is far too rational for most people to accept, especially for people living in the San Francisco bay area.

  23. Robert of Texas says:

    Well, I for one BELIEVE there is a lot of hot air near and around San Francisco… :-)

    Pretty fun to watch these. I saw one back in the 1990’s in Oklahoma at lake Eufaula. It was thin like a thread and twisted all over the place.

  24. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Maybe climate people will understand vortices better when they can explain this image:

    Seems to me there are far more important factors than sea surface temperature when hurricanes form. A fast jet stream way up high might also be a prerequisite.

  25. Squidly says:

    Very cool! .. you know, we will likely get a lot more of those as the world continues to warm cool …. /sarc

  26. davidmhoffer says:

    Older relatives told us stories about it raining small fish and frogs once in a while. Always thought they were pulling us kids legs as per usual. Then one day, I think I was about 12, walking home, rainstorm comes up out of nowhere (frequent occurance on the bald prairie). Not only do I get soaked, suddenly its raining little fish and frogs. Water spout had sucked them into the air from the nearby lake and the wind blew them over land.

    Now I tell my kids, and they are certain I’m pulling their leg.

  27. Rational Debate says:

    Everyone is missing the most important question here – where and exactly when will the fish-rain be from this occurrence? Perhaps we should start a pool (all puns intended) :0)

    Nukenado = PRICELESS!!

    Anthony & moderators (dare we use that word these days? It might just cause re-criticality over in Japan! Or…. does that mean you guys glow in the dark?), I nominate polistra for quote of the week!!

    polistra says: March 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Oh no! It’s a rotating mushroom cloud, come straight from Japan! It’s a nukenado! Got to take a hundred Potassium Iodine [sic] tablets! Gulp, gulp, gulp. Oh no, now I feel awful! Must be radiation sickness despite the Potassium Iodine! Gotta take a hundred more!

  28. Rational Debate says:

    Or, with a nukenado on the way and moderators hard at work, perhaps I should just have said “so long, and thanks for all the fish!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojydNb3Lrrs

  29. Rational Debate says:

    Hi Anthony or Moderator – awhile back (over an hour, maybe even 2 or more) I posted a couple of comments to this thread, but they don’t seem to have appeared. Would you please see if they got caught in the spam filter or something? Thanks!

  30. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    Seen that sort of thing several times over the North Sea when sailing.

    What’s the story?

  31. Robert Smith says:

    Saw a water spout in the pentland firth N of Scotland) 4 or 5 years ago. Big angry looking bugger – 1500 feet high and maybe 150 feet across.
    Not nice from a 32 foot fishing boat.
    It was in September – sst @13C.

  32. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Waterspouts are amazing. Unlike tornadoes, they can’t last long after they touch down. As soon as water is sucked up the vortex, it destabilizes the waterspout and the waterspout falls apart … then reforms and drops down again. So it goes merrily across the water, rising up off of the surface and falling down again, drawing a crazy dotted line across the surface …

    Before anyone asks me for a citation, how do I know this stuff about waterspouts? The way I know about most meteorological phenomena – I’ve spent a lot of time outside “under the weather”. I once saw six waterspouts at one time while sailing in a 50′ boat in the South China Sea … scary as all getout. In those waters you can even get them after dark, and if the freight train sound of an approaching waterspout around midnight hundreds of miles from land doesn’t weaken your knees and give you the vapors, well, it sure gave them to me …

    w.

  33. Dave Springer says:

    I’ve seen dust devils bigger than that waterspout. Maybe the perspective is wrong but I’m comparing the width of its base to the width of the white water line where the waves are breaking.

    That said I lived in Southern California for 18 years and in tornado alley in Texas for 18 years and the closest I ever wuz to a real tornado touchdown (about a mile away)was in Irvine, California. Of course that was a baby twister in California (F1) and I’ve been within 10 miles of several F3’s in Texas and within 50 miles of an F5 (Jarrell, 1997). Actually the proximity to the F5 and the F3’s was all in the same afternoon. Never saw any golf ball size hail falling down around me in California either but have seen it several times in Texas and still have a few dents in my truck to prove it.

  34. Dave Springer says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

    “Waterspouts are amazing. Unlike tornadoes, they can’t last long after they touch down. As soon as water is sucked up the vortex, it destabilizes the waterspout and the waterspout falls apart … then reforms and drops down again. So it goes merrily across the water, rising up off of the surface and falling down again, drawing a crazy dotted line across the surface …”

    This is what happens when you generalize based upon personal experience. Waterspouts do not suck up surface water. So you made up a mechanism to explain your personal observation. What you saw were probably non-tornadic waterspouts which are common in the tropics and sub-tropics and are more like dust devils than supercell updrafts. Dust devils skip across the surface forming and reforming too. In fact even real tornadoes often skip up and down.

  35. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dave Springer says:
    March 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

    “Waterspouts are amazing. Unlike tornadoes, they can’t last long after they touch down. As soon as water is sucked up the vortex, it destabilizes the waterspout and the waterspout falls apart … then reforms and drops down again. So it goes merrily across the water, rising up off of the surface and falling down again, drawing a crazy dotted line across the surface …”

    This is what happens when you generalize based upon personal experience. Waterspouts do not suck up surface water. So you made up a mechanism to explain your personal observation. What you saw were probably non-tornadic waterspouts which are common in the tropics and sub-tropics and are more like dust devils than supercell updrafts. Dust devils skip across the surface forming and reforming too. In fact even real tornadoes often skip up and down.

    Thanks, Dave. Waterspouts don’t suck up water? Sez who? These waterspouts were huge, and they dropped down from from the bottoms of thunderstorms. When they hit you can actually see the water start to go snaking up them, the bottom of the core of the funnel goes all dark, and spray starts shooting up the column of the funnel. Then they start to wobble and get unstable because the water weighs so much. The long straight column starts to flail around, you can see the centrifugal force swing sections out. Then they fall apart, and you can see the water falling back into the ocean. Once the water is gone, they often reform and start over again.

    Now, that’s just my observation of the maybe twenty or so waterspouts I’ve been close to at sea. I’ve also been close to dust devils on land, and I can assure you, these waterspouts were not like any dust devil I know of.

    Soooo … why is it that you claim that waterspouts don’t suck up water? I freely admit my belief is based on my extensive interactions with the species, and that I could be wrong, but that’s what I saw many times, up close … what’s your claim based on?

    I do find that claim repeated over and over on the web … but it is repeated verbatim, word for word, which always makes me suspicious. But I also find articles saying the opposite, like this one (emphasis mine) from Time Magazine science section:

    The spouts are chiefly vapor but may contain fresh water condensed from the cloud or salt water sucked up from the sea. Like tornadoes they are atmospheric vortices caught by conflicting air currents, with partial vacuums at their cores. In general, however, they are much less violent than the average tornado, do damage only by dropping their loads of water. If a land tornado passed out to sea, it would become a waterspout, but the water sucked up into the column would nullify to a great extent the destructive force of the vacuum.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,762300,00.html#ixzz1HCiAUSQf

    In other words, what I said. In addition, I find nothing in Google Scholar that says that waterspouts can’t suck up water. Most of the citations are books, and they say waterspouts can indeed suck up water, viz:

    Waterspouts can suck all the water out of a pond.

    and

    Waterspouts are weak tornadoes that form over water. When a waterspout pulls up water, it also pulls up everything in the water.

    and

    Waterspouts with a powerful vortex can suck up a column of water 20 feet (6.1 m) or more into the air.

    My question is, if the water going up the spout is “condensation”, why does it start at the bottom of the waterspout and travel upwards? And why doesn’t it start “condensing” until the waterspout hits the ocean? And how would anyone know if the water that’s in the cloud was sucked up as spray, or condensed? One reference says:

    Strong winds at the base of waterspouts make spray. This is sucked up into the spout.

    As always, more questions than answers, but I’d call the status of this issue “undetermined”. So I wouldn’t rule out my experience quite yet.

    w.

  36. davidmhoffer says:

    Well if they can pick up a boat, I would think they could pick up a lot of other things. Not to mention that (first link) Environment Canada says they’re working on trying to forecast them because they are a danger to boaters and people on shore”

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/envirozine/default.asp?lang=En&n=2A3FCB13-1

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F40B13F83F5B11738DDDAC0A94D0405B818CF1D3

    http://wn.com/Singapore_Waterspout_Plays_With_Boat

    http://www.soundingsonline.com/component/content/article/112-archives/194342

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