John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Ghostly, seaborne twisters are in the forecast into the weekend.
Residents of the northern Great Lakes recently have been watching something much better than TV: Dark waterspouts spinning into waves as if drilling for sturgeon and bloater.
The spout-fest hasn’t yet reached the intensity of others in 2003 and 1999 (pictured above), but it’s certainly something to behold. The International Centre For Waterspout Research predicted such an event on Wednesday, calling it a potential “outbreak” that could last for days. Warmer colors in this graphic show where seaborne twisters have a better chance of materializing:
The ICWR is predicting a waterspout outbreak over the Great Lakes starting Thursday afternoon and into the weekend pic.twitter.com/WILWBASjZO— ICWR (@ICWR) October 14, 2015
So far most of the activity has centered in Northern Michigan in Lake Superior and Lake Huron, but the research center is sticking with its forecast for waterspouts “likely” appearing in all the Great Lakes on Friday. We’ll see how that plays out—meanwhile, here are some of the weak, watery vortexes people recorded on Thursday:
Funnel cloud: MDOTs Creig Lambert, working on US-41, saw this waterspout a few miles NE around 2:45 this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/0oLehIcwhc— MDOT Upper Peninsula (@MDOT_UP) October 15, 2015