The Mediterranean Sea experienced an extraordinary waterspout outbreak on June 13, 2023, with the International Centre for Waterspout Research (ICWR) confirming 15 waterspouts off the coasts of Italy, France, and Spain.
The phenomenon included an impressive quintuplet waterspout sighting off of Col du Canadel, France.
This waterspout outbreak is not an isolated event, as it follows a previous outbreak on May 12, 2023, during which 18 waterspouts were confirmed over the Mediterranean Sea, predominantly off the coast of Italy, but also affecting France and Spain.
Waterspouts, essentially tornadoes over water, are formed from cumuliform clouds in high humidity and warm sea surface temperatures. While they are usually less destructive than their land counterparts, they still pose a significant threat to aircraft and watercraft.
The ICWR is currently leading the study and research into these phenomena, with the aim of understanding their patterns and predicting their occurrences. The research is crucial for improving safety measures in affected areas, especially for the fishing and shipping industries, as well as for coastal communities.
Featured image credit: ICWR
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