Storm Trackers keeping an eye out for water spouts
Posted at: 09/10/2012 12:16 AM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com
Today’s weather was great for being outside, but it could have been dangerous for boaters on Lake Ontario.
News10NBC’s weather team has been telling viewers for the past few days that conditions were right for water spouts. That’s exactly what local storm chasers saw today.
The Storm Trackers of Wayne County have been monitoring the skies all day long. A lot of people were called in to report possible tornadoes all morning. The team chased several throughout the day. They say this is just the beginning.
If you were travelling through Wayne County have been morning, you may have been wondering what this was forming in the sky.
Meteorologist Tim Thomas says, “They are classified as a tornado over water and they do come on land on occasion.”
The Storm Trackers of Wayne County tell News10NBC that a number of people sent in images that looked like tornados throughout the area.
Thomas says there are water spouts, and his team ended up tracking several Sunday morning. He says it’s expected around this time of year.
Thomas says, “We have the cool Canadian air coming over the lakes and it creates instability. All we need is the wind to create the horizontal roll drawn up into the cumulous clouds and spins up a small waterspout.”
Thomas says most of them are small and short lived. But even though they rarely touch down on land, they can still be very dangerous for swimmers and boaters, especially since it can happen at any time.
Thomas says, “There can be clear skies and rather tranquil conditions that these things can come down as long as the instability in the upper atmosphere is there. You can actually have these things come down in rather calm conditions.”
For example, it was a beautiful evening on Sodus Point and the Storm Trackers noticed another possible water spout forming in the distance. They say they’re keeping a close eye on the skies.
Jack Matthys, the founder of Storm Trackers says, “We are out there for public safety and giving them the information they need.”
It’s something they’ve been doing for about a year now. They hope to expand and do a lot more research, all to increase awareness throughout the region.
Matthys says, “Bad weather can happen it just doesn't happen as frequent up here. When it happens we want the public to know we are out there in the field actually giving them live information.”
The Storm Trackers say water spouts occur mostly in the fall, so we are entering the peak season now. They are sure to be more sightings within the next few months.
If you do see a water spout on the lake, you are urged to stay clear and seek shelter in the harbor or on shore. Also if you would like to know more about the Storm Trackers of Wayne County, they do have a facebook page, which you can visit by clicking this link.