Rare Waterspouts Sighted Over Lake Michigan

Waterspouts look like water tornadoes and are most likely to form this time of year.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On Saturday, several waterspouts swirled just off the Milwaukee shoreline, in Lake Michigan. This time-lapse video shows a big one that lasted for several minutes. (Published Sunday, Sep 25, 2011)

    Did you see them? Several huge columns of water seemingly burst out of the water across Chicago's lakefront on Saturday.

    They're called waterspouts and they aren't often seen around these parts. Yet the National Weather Service told the Chicago Sun-Times at least six different sightings were recorded along the lakeshore.

    Confirmed reports stretched from east of Lake Forest at 10:10 a.m. to about four miles off the metro area's shore at 10:20 a.m., as well as one spotted north of Navy Pier at 12:09 p.m. and a couple in Wisconsin.

    Only 13 such waterspouts have been reported along the Lake Michigan coast from Chicago to Racine, Wis., in the past 11 years, according to the Sun-Times.

    A waterspout is a vortex of water connected to a cloud and are considered "similar to tornadoes over water," according to the National Weather Service. They're most likely to form at the end of the summer season.