Waterspouts spotted near St. Joseph

A spout hovers over the water near St. Joseph Friday, July 15, 2016. (Ranelle Smith)

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (WOOD) —  Visitors to Lake Michigan were treated to an uncommon sight in Berrien County Friday.

A small waterspout spun down near St. Joseph Friday afternoon. The funnel was seen spinning over the lighthouse by photographer Joshua Nowicki.

Waterspout near St. Joseph Joshua Nowicki 071516
A spout formed above the lighthouse near St. Joseph July 15, 2016. (Joshua Nowicki via Twitter)


Cold air spinning down from Canada was enough to touch off this tiny vortex. For that reason, water spouts are most common on the Great Lakes in the early to mid-fall when water temperatures are relatively warm and a cold air mass flows over the water. The average water temperature of the surface of the Great Lakes is about 68 degrees.

>>More: Lake Michigan beach and boating conditions

St. Joseph waterspout Ranelle Smith
A spout hovers over Lake Michigan near St. Joseph Friday, July 15, 2016. (Ranelle Smith)

Ranelle Smith told 24 Hour News 8 said she captured the formation of five waterspouts on camera.  A close look shows at least one spout made it to the surface of the water.

You can see the entire life-cycle of the waterspout through Smith’s series of pictures on Facebook.

The bigger danger on Lake Michigan Friday are the waves and rip currents. A Small Craft Advisory and Beach Hazard warning are both in effect through Friday evening.



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