TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA/NBC News Channel) – A tornado formed over the Gulf of Mexico off a Florida beach on Tuesday and it was captured on video.
The video was shot at Silver Shells Beach Spa and Resort in Destin, in the Florida Panhandle.
According to Max Defender 8 Weather Team Chief Meteorologist and Climate Specialist Jeff Berardelli, though the formation is being referred to as a “water spout,” it’s really a tornado over the water, not a typical Florida summer waterspout.
A witness to the video said the formation traveled to the east for about 20 minutes and dissipated. The witness said it did not make landfall.
According to Jeff, the formation occurred as the result of a strong thunderstorm, which impaired rotation to the funnel.
“Alternatively typical summer waterspouts form due to warm, moist unstable air pockets rising over the warm water,” said Jeff.
He explained waterspouts don’t often, or need, to form from a parent thunderstorm, rather forming from cumulus clouds in a calm environment with very light environmental winds.
“Waterspouts that form in calm environments almost always die quickly when they reach land. But waterspouts which form from strong thunderstorms can more easily move on land and last long enough to cause damage,” said Jeff.