Spectacular moment FOUR waterspouts form together in Australia

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/os4c4clzlmjih4a/VRP29782.mp4?dl=0

This is the spectacular moment four waterspouts formed together near the coast of Australia.

Footage shows giant elephant trunk-shaped whirlwinds rotating at the same time over a river leading to the coast in Manning Point, News South Wales on May 4.

The violent columns extended from the water to the dark clouds above while strong winds blew in from the Tasman Sea.

Resident Kevin Burrows said there were initially five waterspouts that formed but one dissipated earlier than the other four.

He said: ‘It is not very often that you get to see a set of waterspouts all in the one place. There were five of them at firs but one has expired.’

The swirling columns disappeared after 15 minutes before light rain with strong winds hit the area.

Fairweather waterspouts like that seen in the video are most commonly found in subtropical areas and usually 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.

They form 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. The air then spins so fast that it stretches and a funnel appears from the water to the thunderstorm cloud above.

More air moves into the vacuum at the water’s surface, which heats up and rises again, so the waterspout continues.