Waterspout weather phenomenon sighted in Bintulu waters (Video)

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A screengrab from the video shows the waterspout in Bintulu waters this morning.

SIBU (Dec 14): A waterspout was sighted in Bintulu waters around 11.20am today.

Offshore workers captured the weather phenomenon in a short video clip.

When contacted, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) confirmed the phenomenon was indeed a waterspout.

It explained that the waterspout is a type of tornado that occurs over water.

“It is a strong columnar eddy (usually looks like a funnel cloud) that occurs at the surface of the sea and mostly in Tropical and Sub-Tropical regions.

“It connects with towering cumulus clouds or cumulonimbus clouds during severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms,” said information from the department.

MetMalaysia said most waterspouts do not suck in water and they are not as powerful as tornadoes inland.

It said waterspouts are small, have a short lifespan of up to tens of minutes, and weaken when heading to the beach.

“The small column or funnel is actually water droplets in the air vortex. As the air swirls and rises, the warm air cools and condensation of water vapour occurs, forming the visible funnel cloud.

“The occurrence of waterspouts has been reported in Malaysian waters such as Penang, Kedah, Perak, Sarawak, Sabah, and Federal Territory of Labuan,” added the department.