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A waterspout near Florida. The two flares with smoke trails are for indicating wind direction and general speed near the bottom of the photograph.

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}} A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water. They are connected to a towering cumuliform cloud or a cumulonimbus cloud.<ref name=Glossary>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In the common form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water.<ref name=Glossary/>

While it is often weaker than most of its land counterparts, stronger versions spawned by mesocyclones do occur.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Most waterspouts do not suck up water; they are small and weak rotating columns of air over water.<ref name=Glossary/><ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

While waterspouts form mostly in the tropics and subtropical areas,<ref name=Glossary/> other areas also report waterspouts, including Europe, New Zealand, the Great Lakes and Antarctica.<ref name="lake_michigan">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Although rare, waterspouts have been observed in connection with lake-effect snow precipitation bands.

Waterspouts have a five-part life cycle: formation of a dark spot on the water surface, spiral pattern on the water surface, formation of a spray ring, development of the visible condensation funnel, and ultimately decay.

Waterspout sections
Intro  Formation  Types  Deterioration  Climatology  Life cycle  Nautical threat  Animal threat   Research and forecasting   See also  References  External links  

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