Rare waterspout towers over Lasqueti Island

Fisherman and Island residents alike caught a rare glimpse of a massive waterspout that towered over Lasqueti Island on Thursday morning.

Fisherman Shaun Radke of Powell River caught this sequence of photos.

Radke told CTV Vancouver Island “it was like God reaching down for some fish,” adding he’d never seen anything like it.

A twister growing rapidly by Lasqueti Island! Crazy!

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“The whole crew didn’t even really say much,” he said. “It lasted for about 10 minutes, maybe a bit longer.”

A waterspout is essentially a tornado over water though it is not quite the same as a land tornado.

Ed Wiebe, Scientific Assistant at the University of Victoria is a regular weather monitor. He describes them as a columnar vortex usually weaker than what we think of as a tornado, like a big dust devil.

“They can be strong and dangerous to encounter at sea,” Wiebe said. “They typically occur under or with big cumulonimbus (rain, storm) clouds and are caused by rapidly rising air stretching upward and spinning faster like figure skater pulling in arms during spin.”