Waterspout tornado forms off the coast of the Philippines

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ikjl1apulx7bru9/VRP25135.mp4?dl=0

This is the terrifying moment a giant funnel-shaped waterspout formed in the sea in the Philippines.

Onlooker Sarabin Sabturin Galingging recorded the rare weather phenomenon on Thursday (April 15) in Lukbuton, Isabela province.

She said: ‘The twister lasted a few minutes before it faded away. There was a thunderstorm after and strong rain.’

Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water. They are intense columns of swirling clouds that stretch from the surface to the clouds above. They are most commonly found in subtropical areas and disappear shortly after they come into contact with land.

Waterspouts are generally not dangerous but they can be a risk for aircraft flying through the area and for coral reefs and marine life in the water immediately below. Sailors should also try to avoid waterspouts – as the consequences of floating into one could be disastrous.

The most common type of waterspout is a ‘fair weather waterspout’. They happen when winds merge from opposite directions near the water’s surface, creating a small area of spin. Sudden warm air at the surface, usually from a thunderstorm, causes the spinning air to rotate faster and it starts to rise – picking up water at the same time. Sometimes the air spins so fast that it stretches and a funnel appears from the water to the thunderstorm cloud above.