Tornadoes alone are frightening, but water tornadoes, a weather phenomenon known as a waterspout, beat all of the strange and scary weather events out there.
On October 16, a waterspout hit Cienfuegos Bay on the Southern coast of Cuba. Meteorologist Alvaro Pérez Senra captured the stunning event on video.
The giant waterspout lasted about 10 minutes, according to Reuters. That’s enough time to scare the pants off of anyone in the area.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a water tornado is a “whirling column of air and mist.” There are two type of waterspouts: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts. The one that hit Cuba last weekend was a “fair weather tornado.”
“Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds,” the NOAA explains on its website. “This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms. By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity.”
While impressive and somewhat mesmerizing, just like regular tornadoes, waterspouts can create serious material damage and injuries when they reach land.
Despite being rare, a report on the event of last Saturday by the Cienfuegos Meteorological Center notes that another waterspout took place in Cienfuegos this year on June 1.