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RACINE — A waterspout was spotted in the middle of Lake Michigan today, Sept. 13, in Racine and in other shoreline communities.

The NOAA National Ocean Service states that this formation, which caught the attention of many, is a whirling column of air and water mist. This funnel formed over the water is an intense vortex, that sometimes can be destructive, of a small horizontal extent, and occurs over a body of water.

Racine County Eye partner at TMJ4, Meteorologist Brendan Johnson shared a post on Facebook stating “quite the sight, yet very dangerous for mariners on the Lake.”

Additionally, he shared photos from Ariel A. that took place in Wind Point in Racine County near 3 Mile Road.

“Showers/storms on the lake are capable of producing waterspouts,” posted Johnson in another post.

To the Racine County Eye’s current knowledge, no damage occurred due to the phenomenon that emerged on the morning of Sept. 13 to any boaters or civilians on land.

Per the National Weather Service (NWS), waterspouts tend to occur in late summer and fall whenever large, cool air masses overspread the waters of the Great Lakes. 

Conditions were just right today.

Experts with NWS note that those conditions include when water temperatures are warm, the air is cold and moist, and wind speeds are relatively light.

Captured waterspout on video

Nicholas Ricciardi, a City of Racine Plumbing Inspector, took a video of Lake Michigan and the prolific waterspout this morning near North Beach, 100 Kewaunee St.

Be on the lookout

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