Massive, damaging waterspout roars ashore in Florida
Monday, April 23, 2018, 10:31 AM - A severe weather threat continues across the U.S. Southeast on Monday after storms spawned several tornadoes near the Gulf Coast on Sunday. Widespread damage has been reported from southeastern Louisiana to southern Alabama and into the Florida Panhandle where incredible images show a massive waterspout whipping onshore.
On Sunday afternoon, the waterspout was captured on Florida's Okaloosa Island and Fort Walton Beach as it pushed ashore and heavily damaged at least one home in the area.
WATCH BELOW: WATERSPOUT COMES UP ONTO LAND AS SEEN IN THIS SCARY VIDEO
The easiest way to distinguish the difference between a tornado and a waterspout is simply if it happens over water. A waterspout in general is any tornado over a body of water, typically a non-supercell tornado in its most common form.
DEFINED BY THE U.S. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Tornado: A violently rotating column of air, usually pendant to a cumulonimbus, with circulation reaching the ground. It nearly always starts as a funnel cloud and may be accompanied by a loud roaring noise. On a local scale, it is the most destructive of all atmospheric phenomena.
Waterspout: In general, a tornado occurring over water. Specifically, it normally refers to a small, relatively weak rotating column of air over water beneath a Cb or towering cumulus cloud. Waterspouts are most common over tropical or subtropical waters. The exact definition of waterspout is debatable. In most cases the term is reserved for small vortices over water that are not associated with storm-scale rotation (i.e., they are the water-based equivalent of landspouts). But there is sufficient justification for calling virtually any rotating column of air a waterspout if it is in contact with a water surface.
MORE SEVERE WEATHER
Severe storms also left a path of destruction in southeastern Louisiana and southern Alabama on Sunday with several injuries reported.
A reported tornado downed trees across Fort Rucker, Alabama, which also forced the Army to temporarily close the southeastern Alabama base.
The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down in Galliano, Louisiana, which is just over 100 km from New Orleans.