Tornadic Waterspouts off the Island of Rhodes, Greece

January 22, 2013


Photographer: Stratos Koufos
Summary Authors: Stratos Koufos; Jim Foster

January 2013 Viewer's Choice The photo above shows twin tornadic waterspouts sweeping across the Mediterranean Sea between Rhodes and southwestern Turkey. During the winter season, there's occasionally a strong southerly flow (winds from the southern quadrant) in the eastern Mediterranean. On this January day in 2002, the winds were blowing especially hard (9 on Beaufort Scale). Just before the funnels descended, however, winds shifted to the north and rain began to fall. Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that happen to form over water, or move from land to water. Unlike the weak fair weather spouts that sometimes occur over water bodies on hot, humid summer days with light winds, tornadic waterspouts are associated with powerful thunderstorms. Fortunately, there were no reports of deaths or injuries from these twisters. Photo taken on January 15, 2002.