Southern California Waterspout
January 18, 2008
The photo above shows one of a series of 11 moderate waterspouts that strung out along the California coastline north of San Diego on September 22, 2007. A cold front that moved across the relatively warmer water (69 degrees F or 20 C) triggered these impressive waterspouts. A bank of cumulus clouds developed shortly afterwards from which the rope-like funnels dangled toward the Pacific. Waterspouts are much more common with the warmer waters of Florida than the cooler waters of the California coast. Note the bird perched on the wire, apparently unperturbed by the nearby spout -- not all birds flee from an approaching storm.