[UPDATE Noon] Waterspouts on Humboldt Bay

A waterspout swirls and flares on Humboldt Bay. [Photos and video by Oliver Blum]

Two waterspouts appeared on Humboldt Bay today just before 9:45 a.m. “They were kinda by 101 near the Herrick exit,” explained Oliver Blum whose girlfriend alerted him to the first one.

“It took me probably a minute to get out and get my phone ready,” he said.

Here is video of the first one–filmed at 9:44 a.m.:

While they were watching the first one, a second appeared. “The first one lasted about 5 minutes,” he explained, “before it hit land.” The second one, he believes dissolved in the water before the first one disappeared.

Two waterspouts at the same time: one far to the left–the corner of the house points to it— and one to the right by the guy wires from the utility pole.

Blum began filming the video below showing both spouts at 9:45 a.m.



UPDATE 11:10 a.m.:
This video was taken by Alyssa Bowers who alerted Blum to the waterspouts. This one shows a bit of the early development. She started filming at 9:42 a.m.

UPDATE Noon:  We spoke to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service about this phenomenon. Jonathan Garner explained, “We have a very unstable environment today that leads to convective clouds.” These towering clouds that often produce heavy showers and even thunderstorms are formed as warm air from the surface is pulled up towards the much colder air above.

“Sometimes [these conditions] spin up these vortices (areas of rotation underneath the cloud.) When that happens out over the water and it connects with the surface then, we call that a waterspout,” Garner said.

While seeing one or even two is not a rare phenomenon, Garner explained, it isn’t an everyday occurrence and can be dangerous for small watercraft.

 

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