Waterspout at Sunset on Lake Michigan

July 24, 2017


Photographer: Kyler Phillips
Summary Authors: Kyler Phillips; Jim Foster
The photo at top shows a waterspout silhouetted against the setting Sun over Lake Michigan. It was taken from Esch Road Beach, Michigan. Fair-weather waterspouts are most often observed on the Great Lakes during the summer season, when the water is relatively warm. However, tornadic waterspouts (a tornado over water) such as the one shown here some 7 mi (11 km) offshore, can occur even when the lake water is cold since these spouts result from atmospheric instability. On this late spring day, a storm front approaching from the west (bottom photo) spun-up this waterspout. Photo taken on May 29, 2017.