Rare tornadic feature for Australia: Waterspout forms off Bronte Beach, eastern Sydney

Rare tornadic feature for Australia: Waterspout forms off Bronte Beach, eastern Sydney

Professional storm chaser Daniel Shaw recorded a waterspout off Bronte Beach, in eastern Sydney, Australia on the morning of October 14, 2015 (local time).

A rare tornado-like event lasted for about 10 minutes and gave an impressive view to its observers 20 km away at Bronte Beach. A set of meteorological factors have combined to produce the waterspout, including warm water, converging winds and upward-moving air.

Funnel clouds beginning to form. Image credit: Daniel Shaw

Few funnel clouds formed and dissipated in a process. Image credit: Daniel Shaw

"We had a light offshore wind in the morning, so where that meets the north-easterly sea breeze over the water, it's sort of a convergence area," Zach Porter, Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) severe weather forecaster explained.

Daniel Shaw, who recorded the meteorological phenomena described the event: "About 10.30 am very small funnels appeared from a number of small storm cells. The conditions were perfect for waterspouts to form. A few funnels appeared then dissipated, but eventually an almost condensed waterspout formed with clear ground circulation. It lasted about three minutes."

Waterspout touch-down. Image credit: Daniel Shaw

"I travel to the United States for almost three months every year to cover the US tornado season. I have witnessed well over 100 tornadoes in the US, but this little surprise was my very first and obviously very rare capture of a tornadic feature in Australia," the famous storm chaser concluded.

Featured image: Waterspout touch-down, 20 km off the coast of Bronte Beach, eastern Sydney, Australia, October 14, 2015. Image credit: Daniel Shaw


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