Waterspouts On The Chesapeake Bay On Saturday 10/16/2021

Waterspout near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Photo: By Tessa Gunnell / Karen Gunnell

A surprise for many drivers over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge this afternoon when several spin ups occurred over the open waters right next to the bridge. As stated from Tessa Gunnell these spins ups occurred just before 3pm this afternoon.

The National Weather Service in Baltimore/Washington issued a Special Marine Warning for this area but no mentions of a waterspout potentials.

Now waterspouts are very erratic and can form without the presence of a thunderstorm. We happen to bring the perfect recipe for waterspout formations with this passage of a strong cold front.

Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds. This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms. While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward. By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity. Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.

With the very warm weather out ahead of this front in the upper 70’s to low 80’s, very warm water temperatures still around 70 degrees, and much cooler air along the cold front is giving the perfect dynamics for the airmass to clash and begin to rotate.

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