A slow-moving thunderstorm over the Currituck Sound and Corolla on Wednesday produced an amazing sight off the backyard of OBX Today’s very own storm chaser, Sam Walker.
A multiple vortex waterspout attempted to form between 6:47 and 6:50 p.m. just a few yards from the southern tip of Waterlily on Churches Island on the Currituck County mainland. That’s also five miles west of Currituck Beach Lighthouse.
Strong west winds out just ahead of a downpour disrupted the atmosphere before the waterspout could fully form.
According to the National Weather Service, the formation of waterspouts can become favorable when water temperatures are warm, the air is cold and moist, and wind speeds are relatively light.
They are commonly seen both on the sounds and the ocean along the Outer Banks, especially when there are active thunderstorms in the area.
In most cases, waterspouts which make landfall are much weaker than tornadoes, produce little or no damage, and dissipate quickly.
But there are rare cases when stronger waterspouts may produce significant damage when making landfall.