Updated: Wednesday, 01 Aug 2012, 5:54 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 31 Jul 2012, 3:36 PM EDT
DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) - With several waterspouts popping up over the past few days, WAVY.com went to Super Doppler 10 Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler to find out what's causing them.
"What's interesting is this year has had some really wacky weather," Jeremy said. "We've had tornadoes, we've had maybe not so much snow, we've had tropical systems already, we've had record heat."
Add waterspouts to Jeremy's list. WAVY TV 10 viewers submitted photos of waterspouts on the Oregon Inlet, near Bodie Island, and just off the coast of Duck July 30. A similar scene was even spotted July 31near the Oregon Inlet.
"We don't usually get this many in a short period of time," Jeremy said. "We've got warm waters number one. We've had a lot of moisture in the atmosphere, that's a key to getting these going."
You might be surprised to learn waterspouts are not studied as much as other weather events.
"[Waterspouts] form below the radar beam, so it's hard to detect them," Jeremy said. "It's hard to study them and sometimes they happen so quick it's hard to catch them."
Jeremy says waterspouts can be destructive and you should listen to all warnings when one is spotted.
"Even though it could be a waterspout, may not cause that much damage, once in awhile they do whip up things and cause some damage and all you need is some flying debris to come around and hit you and it's still very dangerous," Jeremy said.
Jeremy also says if you are in a boat when a waterspout hits, you should get out of the way as fast as you can.
He says it's important to move in the opposite direction and parallel to the spout. Do not speed away in the direct path because the waterspout could move faster than you.
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