Waterspout watch issued for Lake Erie
Thursday, July 10, 2014, 4:49 PM -
Several reports of funnel clouds and waterspouts over Lake Erie Thursday morning prompted Environment Canada to issue a watch for the area.
It remained in effect until noon.
During that time swimmers and boaters were advised to monitor to the conditions.
According to EC, the spouts were the product of an area of showers and thunderstorms situated over the lake.
Cool spouts over North Bass Island! pic.twitter.com/Q6tSTYqp61— Pelee Heritage Centr (@pelee_heritage) July 10, 2014
Waterspouts are considered to be weak tornadoes over water and they're normally seen in the early fall.
These rotating columns of water vapour range in diameter from 7 to 20 metres and can generate winds between 40 to 80 kilometres per hour -- more than enough to damage a boat.
They typically last about 10 minutes, Environment Canada says.
"As the cooler air passes over the warm lakes, it provides the perfect environment for waterspouts to kick up," explains Weather Network meteorologist Brian Dillon.
Although most waterspouts tend to stay over water, they do have the potential to come onshore. It's best to keep a safe distance if you see one develop.