LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOOD) — A waterspout was seen spinning along the lakeshore near Ludington around 3 p.m. Monday.
Videos of the dark gray funnel show hail and graupel (soft, spongy balls) pelting spectators who ran outside to stare at the sky.
>>App users: Video of the funnel on YouTube
Above, see video posted to Facebook by AJ Guertin, who works nearby at WMOM. You can clearly see the funnel, as well as the graupel and hail that are spilling down to the ground as the wind buffets him.
The beautifully smooth waterspout was highly visible to Ludington residents, appearing to stretch for several hundred feet from the cloud base down to the lakeshore.
Waterspouts are very common this time of year. Cold air spilling in from Canada comes into contact with the warm water from the Great Lakes. A small amount of surface rotation can help that shower extend to the surface of the water. The water temperature right now of the coast of Ludington is 55.8 degrees.
The radar view at 3:06p.m. of the cold air generated waterspout near Ludington shows a moderate shower.
The shower that produced the waterspout likely had some weak low level rotation as the stiff west wind collided with the shore, producing a little surface friction and spinning up the funnel.
No rotation is seen on the velocity mode of our radar, but this isn’t surprising. Cold air funnels like this are often so shallow that the rotation is very hard to detect, especially with showers this far away from where the radar is located.
It is unclear if the waterspout made landfall or if it fell apart as the shower moved inland. No damage was reported.