January 20, 2016 - LAKE MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES - Lake-effect snow and arctic air have both made their presence known during the last several days but another, more unique weather phenomenon was also witnessed.
Viewer Debbie Maglothin snapped a few pictures of cold air waterspouts spinning not too far from the Ludington State Park beach.
Funnels of any kind are hard enough to spot in west Michigan, but cold air funnels are even more unique.
How does a cold air waterspout form?
- A drastic temperature difference between the air an water is required. In the most recent event, water temperatures were near 32 degrees while air temperatures were closer to 10 degrees.
- A steady breeze needs to be present to jump-start the process of evaporation.
- In most cases, this is also how lake-effect snow is produced but in some unique situations, a slight twisting motion will occur in the steam above the water. If it is maintained long enough, eventually weak funnels will develop.
WATCH: Cold air funnels spotted on Lake Michigan.
- Detroit Free Press.