No real severe thunderstorms were spotted in the Willamette Valley or the surrounding area, but that can’t be said for the Oregon Coast. A waterspout was spotted Monday morning near the Gold Beach area and captured by Jose Delannoy
A waterspout is a tornado that happens over a body of water. In this case, the waterspout was located over the Pacific Ocean. This particular waterspout didn’t form from a supercell thunderstorm like what is typically seen in the Midwest. This spin-up of a storm was caused by the wind shear or different direction of winds in the atmosphere. These types of tornadoes are extremely difficult to see on radar products. That means warnings may not always go out until the report is documented. By that time, it’s likely that the weak funnel cloud, tornado, or waterspout has already dissipated.
The threat has now passed, but the National Weather Service‘s Storm Prediction Center also had a “Marginal Risk” for severe weather for the coast along with the KOIN 6 Weather Alert Day. Tornadoes and waterspouts are rare, but the Portland area typically sees about three tornadoes a year on average. The tornadic activity usually ramps up during seasonal changes like spring and fall.