KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) – A trio of waterspouts were spotted off the coast of Key Biscayne Wednesday morning.
The first ominous looking spout dipped down from the clouds just southeast of Key Biscayne shortly after 8:00 a.m.
The second waterspout was formed in the same area around 8:15 and a third followed around 8:24.
While waterspouts look like tornadoes, they are generally much weaker, last for a short time, and unless they move over land, are only dangerous if they happen to pass over a boat.
Unlike tornadoes, waterspouts usually are not connected with thunderstorms, and can develop from ordinary rain clouds.
They generally form and disappear in a relatively small area.
Despite the appearance of the spout, which looks like it is sucking water from the ocean into the clouds, the watery appearance is caused by condensation in the spout. Nothing is sucked up into the cloud, but where it touches the water it can cause turbulence that makes waves and can toss boats around.
Boaters are warned to navigate away from heavy rain where the waterspouts may appear.
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