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Rare Phenomenon: Waterspout occurs off Volimes, Zakynthos

A rare weather phenomenon occurred. A stunning waterspout was formed in the sea area off Volimes region in the north-west of the island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea.

The phenomenon appeared at 6:30 in the afternoon on Monday.

The rare phenomenon was captured by the lens of a local resident, Dimitris Goskos.

According to, waterspouts occur in days with high air temperatures  and humidity and is the vortex between a “stormwater” and the surface of the sea. The main cause of this phenomenon is the large temperature difference between water surfaces and higher atmospheric layers.

The average number of waterspouts in Greece is 75 per year.

In recent years, the phenomenon is more frequent at this time of the year in Zakynthos as well as in the rest of the Ionian Sea, Western Peloponnese and Est Greece.

Especially the south Ionian Sea and West Peloponnese are at the center of similar phenomena including whirlwinds.

Although Zakynthos is used to extreme bad weather, its frequency and unprecedented intensity in recent years is unusual, notes adding that the phenomenon has to do with the climate change.

A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water. In the common form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water.

While it is often weaker than most of its land counterparts, stronger versions spawned by mesocyclones do occur. Most waterspouts do not suck up water; they are small and weak rotating columns of air over water.

Waterspouts exist on a microscale, where their environment is less than two kilometers in width. The cloud from which they develop can be as innocuous as a moderate cumulus, or as great as a supercell. While some waterspouts are strong and tornadic in nature, most are much weaker and caused by different atmospheric dynamics. They normally develop in moisture-laden environments as their parent clouds are in the process of development, and it is theorized they spin as they move up the surface boundary from the horizontal shear near the surface, and then stretch upwards to the cloud once the low level shear vortex aligns with a developing cumulus cloud or thunderstorm. Weak tornadoes, known as landspouts, have been shown to develop in a similar manner

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