Not all water spouts are tornadoes

Screen shot from video by Aaron Velthouse

WEATHER WEEK: Summer Threats » | Storm Ready Resource Guide »

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — You’ve probably heard of water spouts, which are essentially tornadoes that touch down on the water.

But did you know that not all water spouts are actually tornadoes?

Water spouts can be divided into two categories: tornadic and non-tornadic. Tornadic water spouts are actual tornadoes on the water that develop in rotating thunderstorms, while a non-tornadic water spout does not require a thunderstorm.

Instead, it forms on the water and moves up towards the base of a cumulus cloud.