VIDEO: Spout Of Luck: Huge Sea Tornado Rips Through Beachside Cafe
A huge waterspout twisted its way toward a beach, narrowly missed an anchored boat and slammed into a beachfront cafe before dissipating.
The phenomenon was filmed in the village of Shirokaya Balka, near the city of Novorossiysk in the southwestern Russian region of Krasnodar Krai, on August 8.
The waterspout did not cause any casualties, just destruction, according to the press service of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations.
In the video, the large waterspout is seen twisting its way toward the coast before narrowly missing an anchored vessel and hitting a dock and small building, sending debris high into the air.
The vortex sucked up debris as it neared the shore and then seemingly dissipated as it spiraled over the building.
Authorities said the storm caused severe traffic problems, significant damage to several buildings in the area and uprooted trees.
The waterspout was over 600 feet (200 meters) wide and almost 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) high, according to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. People were evacuated from Shirokaya Balka and two other nearby towns.
Several other twisters have been seen in southern Russia during heavy storms accompanied by strong winds since last week. That day alone, three other waterspouts were spotted over the ocean in near Shirokaya Balka, according to posts on the European social media service VK.
The storm in Shirokaya Balka was less severe than one that hit the Upper Volga region earlier in the week, on August 2.
The latest storm developed when a cold front moved into the region, which was experiencing 86-degree (30 C) temperatures at the time, forming hybrid and cumulus rainclouds.
Emergency services were mobilized to deal with the upended trees and traffic jams in the area.
Meanwhile, five planes were unable to land at the nearby Sochi International Airport due to the severe weather.
A waterspout like the one seen in the video is an intense columnar vortex similar to a tornado that occurs over a body of water instead of land. Some are connected to a cumulus congestus cloud, some to a cumuliform cloud and some to a cumulonimbus cloud.
Waterspouts have a five-part cycle starting with the formation of a dark spot on the water surface, then a spiral pattern. This is followed by the formation of a spray ring and then the funnel, before finally disappearing.
Anything from an ordinary cumulus cloud to a massive supercell can be the source of waterspouts with the different atmospheric conditions determining whether they are relatively harmless or grow to dangerous proportions.
In rare cases, a waterspout will continue moving onshore where it technically becomes a tornado.
Edited by Stella Grace Lorence and Kristen Butler