Several waterspouts were seen in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and British Columbia, Canada, for two days in a row on Wednesday and Thursday, June 9 and 10, 2021. According to Environment Canada, the occurrence of up to five waterspouts in two days is considered very rare in this region.
On Wednesday, June 9, waterspouts were spotted off the northern tip of Texada Island in the Strait of Georgia. Residents from Powell River and Comox were able to witness the event, which occurred around 12:45 UTC (05:45 LT).
Environment Canada confirmed that there were three waterspouts, which were rated EF-O.
"These occurred in the presence of isolated showers over the Strait of Georgia. [We were] able to confirm three of these as tornadoes, with all three occurring at the same time," the Northern Tornado Project (NTP) also reported.
The water tornadoes had wind speeds of up to 137 km/h (85 mph), it added.
A waterspout watch was issued for most of the day and mariners were advised to take precautions, as well as postpone boating or seek safe harbor.
The waterspouts were not associated with a thunderstorm and were possibly fair weather waterspouts, according to local media.
On the following day, June 10, several waterspouts were seen again in the exact same region. They did not make landfall and no damage was reported.
A study done by Environment Canada shows that the occurrence of up to five waterspouts in two days is considered very rare in this region.
Based on data from 1998 to 2014, British Columbia had an average of 6.5 waterspout reports every year, half of those were on the South Coast.
Data from the past 10 years show even fewer waterspouts, with only 3.6 reports each year in all of B.C.
Waterspouts across the South Coast usually occur in the winter. However, it's also possible for them to appear in May and June.
Featured image credit: Julie Leon