Waterspout Weather On Lake Erie - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Waterspout Weather On Lake Erie

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ASHTABULA COUNTY, Ohio -

Three waterspouts were spotted earlier today along the southern edge of Lake Erie, just offshore between Cleveland and Erie.

Around 9:50 this Sunday, a brief cold-air waterspout developed about 3 miles north of the Ohio / Pennsylvania border.  It only lasted a minute or two, according to a report filed by the National Weather Service.

About 15 minutes later, a larger waterspout was spotted about 5 miles north of Erie, Pennsylvania.

Around 12:45 PM, a third waterspout formed and was spotted 3 miles north of the Ohio coastline in Ashtabula County, according to the Coast Guard.

Waterspouts are fairly common when chilling winds from the west increase behind autumn cold fronts.  Waterspouts need at least a weak updraft to form, and these updrafts are driven by a contrast between warm air near the water surface, and colder air aloft.  The lake water cools slowly as we transition away from summer, but overhead, the weather can change quickly.  This weekend, temperatures are near freezing a few thousand feet overhead, sharply contrasting with lake water temperatures in the 50s and 60s.  That contrast helps to form updrafts over the water, in a turbulent environment with active winds from the west.

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