JUST IN: Waterspout warning off Palm Beach County this morning

The National Weather Service has issued a special marine warning for the possibility of waterspouts off Palm Beach County.

Meteorologists in Miami said a severe thunderstorm capable of producing waterspouts is about 20 miles east of Riviera Beach and moving northeast at 17 mph.

Thunderstorms can produce sudden waterspouts that can easily overturn boats and make for locally hazardous seas.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

Wind gusts to 39 mph are also possible with this thunderstorm.

Mariners are being asked to seek safe harbor and make sure everyone on their vessel is wearing a life jacket.

Suddenly higher waves, frequent lightning and heavy downpours are also possible.

Southeast Florida, and the Florida Keys in particular, is a Tornado Alley for waterspouts, according to the National Weather Service in Miami and the International Centre for Waterspout Research’s website.

The waters surrounding Florida provide warmth and moisture for growing clouds that can spawn waterspouts. Often, the clouds that form them are not thunderstorms. In fact, it doesn’t have to be raining for a waterspout to develop, and they can occur while skies are partly sunny.

Waterspouts are caused by a convergence of very light winds — a land breeze and an ocean breeze, 5 knots or less from each direction, he said.

This waterspout was photographed by Iris Fahrer off Lake Worth in 2014.

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Author: Kimberly Miller

Kimberly grew up outside Washington D.C. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 1995. Her beats have included K-12 education, universities and colleges, real estate, and general assignment.

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