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Great Lakes hit by first waterspout outbreak of 2020

great-lakes-hit-by-first-waterspout-outbreak-of-2020

The Great Lakes witnessed their first waterspout outbreak of the 2020 season as dozens of tornadoes were reported over the lakes for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

Much of the waterspouts were seen over lakes Michigan, Erie, and Ontario.

According to Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg, the overall atmospheric pattern that had settled in over Ontario for the past several days caused the outburst.

"Cooler temperatures aloft, combined with warm lake temperatures, have created an unstable atmosphere conducive for waterspout formation."

Waterspouts are common during late summer to early fall, when temperatures on the lake are relatively warm. This means that the recent outburst is occurring right on time.

This weather phenomenon is relatively harmless, particularly when being observed from a distance.

A waterspout is a non-supercell tornado that forms beneath a rapidly-developing cumulus cloud. While they commonly dissipate over the water, they may come ashore as a weak landspout tornado.

Featured image credit: Alen Janx/YouTube

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