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Waterspout spotted off the coast of Chéticamp

By Joe Thomson Aug 2, 2023 | 2:50 PM

Šime Barešić

People in Cape Breton were treated to a rare sight today off the coast of Chéticamp.

Reports on social media showed a long dark waterspout hovering over the ocean.

According to the U.S.’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are two types of waterspouts: tornadic and fair weather. Tornadic spouts are caused by (you guessed it) tornados. They happen whenever a tornado moves from land to the sea. Fair weather spouts start from the ocean and work their way up to meet the clouds. You’ll usually find them attached to the flat underbelly of a cumulous group of clouds. They’re also a sign of a developing storm system, which makes sense considering Environment Canada called for thundershowers in Chéticamp earlier today.

It’s safe to assume that the spout spotted today was of the fair weather variety, considering there haven’t been any tornados in the area lately. That means it likely won’t pose any risks for any one on land, because fair weather spouts don’t really move, if at all.

One thing’s for sure, they’re definitely a sight to behold.


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