Waterspout watch issued for Lake Erie, spouts spotted

Environment Canada issued a waterspout warning for western Lake Erie at 9:20 a.m. Thursday. It's in effect until noon.
The Pelee Island Heritage Centre posted a picture of two twisting waterspouts over the water just before 6 a.m. (Pelee Island Heritage Centre/Twitter)

Environment Canada issued a waterspout warning for western Lake Erie at 9:20 a.m. Thursday.

It remained in effect until noon.

"Conditions are favourable for the development of waterspouts this morning. An area of showers and thunderstorms currently over western lake Erie may be producing waterspouts," the agency said on its website.

Mariners were warned to keep an eye on the sky.

"A waterspout is a rotating column of vapour and water which extends from thundercloud to the water's surface," Environment Canada says on its website.

A waterspout looks like a tornado but is much smaller and weaker.

The diameter of a waterspout ranges from 7-20 metres and its winds range from 40-80 km/hr, which is strong enough to flip a boat, the agency says.

A waterspout may last up to 10 minutes.

Waterspouts, for the most part, form over some of the major lakes of southern Canada during periods of cool, unsettled weather, usually from mid-summer to mid-fall.

The Pelee Island Heritage Centre posted a picture of two twisting waterspouts over the water just before 6 a.m.

Bill Donnelly of Harrow shared his picture with CBC Windsor on Facebook just before 8 a.m.

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