Earth Science Pic of the Day for Sept. 26 – Waterspout off Costa Rica

Waterspout off Costa Rica

September 26, 2011

Flamingo H2O Spout (2)Photographer: Ronald Jensen
Summary Author: Ronald Jensen; Jim Foster


This frightful looking waterspout appeared over the Pacific Ocean, just offshore from Flamingo, Costa Rica on May 23, 2011. It was taken about 5:45 p.m. local time, shortly before sundown. Waterspouts may or may not be tornadic — the ones that don’t develop in the updraft of a supercell storm are termed non tornadic. They’re usually classified as weak tornadoes (F0 or F1) and in most cases lose their rotation upon making landfall. Note that the funnel is descending from a cumuliform parent cloud. No damage was reported from this waterspout.