A man observes twin waterspouts in northern Indonesia in 2009. Yusuf Ahmad/Reuters

There’s a decent chance these ghostly spinners will pop up Thursday on Lake Erie.

In the unlikely event it rains fish in Detroit and Cleveland today, it’s probably not some deity’s weird act of rage but the result of waterspouts on the Great Lakes.

In the wake of a cold front sweeping over the region, these ghostly spinners could appear Thursday on Lake Erie, the National Weather Service says in a “hazardous weather outlook.” The International Centre For Waterspout Research is also predicting ‘spouts Thursday as cool air blankets the lakes. Here’s a snap from the center’s experimental prediction tool, which relies on something called the “Szilagyi Waterspout Index” (red and yellow areas have high chances of formation):

ICWR

The center’s tool also sees possible waterspouts on Friday over a wider area, though the odds are lower:

ICWR

There’s been a lot of tumultuous weather around the Great Lakes recently, with people spotting waterspouts on Wednesday from both sides of the U.S./Canadian border. Needless to say, it’s not a great time to go swimming:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    What Happened When Tulsa Paid People to Work Remotely

    The first class of hand-picked remote workers moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in exchange for $10,000 and a built-in community. The city might just be luring them to stay.

  2. photo: a man with a smartphone in front of a rental apartment building in Boston.
    Equity

    Landlords Are Using Next-Generation Eviction Tech

    As tenant protections get stronger, corporate landlords use software to manage delinquent renters. But housing advocates see a tool for quicker evictions.

  3. animated illustration: cars, bikes, scooters and drones in motion.
    Transportation

    This City Was Sick of Tech Disruptors. So It Decided to Become One.

    To rein in traffic-snarling new mobility modes, L.A. needed digital savvy. Then came a privacy uproar, a murky cast of consultants, and a legal crusade by Uber.

  4. Photo: A protected bike lane along San Francisco's Market Street, which went car-free in January.
    Transportation

    Why Would a Bike Shop Fight a Bike Lane?

    A store owner is objecting to San Francisco’s plan to install a protected bike lane, because of parking worries. Should it matter that it’s a bike shop?

  5. Maps

    For Those Living in Public Housing, It’s a Long Way to Work

    A new Urban Institute study measures the spatial mismatch between where job seekers live and employment opportunities.

×