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Waterspout in the Gulf of Mexico
Fort Desoto Park
After our visit to the fort, we headed to the beaches of Fort DeSoto Park. The North Beach was rated one of America's top beaches, so we wanted to check it out. On our way, we noticed a storm system in the distance, but it appeared to be moving in another direction and would not hit us. We also noticed a line dropping from the clouds to the water - a waterspout!
It wasn't too easy to see as it was the same color as the clouds behind it, but you could make out the spinning funnel and the splash of water at the base.
It was the first time the family saw a waterspout - (I saw one last year too) so it was a pretty cool thing to watch. This one lasted about 10 minutes and then disappeared.
The beach was filled with people, yet nobody left, they all watched the waterspout and continued swimming.
The storm never did come near the beach.
Non-tornadic or fair weather waterspouts are pretty common in Florida (400 a year in the keys alone). They're much weaker than tornadoes associated with supercell storms, and usually have winds of only 65 mph. They tend to be static as the clouds are forming vertically, not moving horizontally, so they're little concern of the waterspout moving toward you.