Double waterspout forms over Thai island before storm


Footage shows a rare double-waterspout stretching from the sea to the clouds above in southern Thailand.

The two elephant trunk-shaped streams of water appeared to be moving in sync alongside the island of Koh Mak in Trat province, on April 16.

Onlooker Pakorn Sae Tiew said: ‘Clouds covered the sun and everywhere became darker. The tornados started very quickly with a spinning cloud of water spray next to the sea. Then they grew bigger.’

Single waterspouts are seen fairly regularly but two or more appearing at the same time is particularly rare. 

Those seen in the video are known as a ‘fair weather waterspout’. They are most commonly found in subtropical areas and usually disappear shortly after they come into contact with land.

Fair weather waterspouts form when winds merge from opposite directions near the water’s surface, creating a small area of spin. Sudden warm air at the surface 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.

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.