VIDEO: Large Waterspout Near Elaphite Islands in Southern Dalmatia

Lauren Simmonds

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As Morski writes on the 9th of November, 2019, some dramatic footage taken of a large waterspout has emerged from the beautiful Elaphite (Elafiti) islands close to the City of Dubrovnik. A Morski reader from the island of Lopud, one of the islands in question, recorded it and claims that it was the largest that has been seen there in recent years, and this one on the video is far from the only one.

”This the largest waterspout (Croatian: pijavica) seen in the last few decades near the Elaphite islands. I took the footage of it from a balcony on the island of Lopud. You can see how today’s largest waterspout (and there have been others) can be seen passing between the islands of Šipan and Mljet. The storm is still ongoing. The radar footage shows the front coming across from Italy straight to the Elaphite islands. It looks like a tornado route when hot and cold currents merge and rotation occurs,” Pavo Noin Lein tells us.

Otherwise, waterspouts are not uncommon for the southern Adriatic area of Croatia, the last major one having been recorded just one day before between the island of Korčula and the Pelješac peninsula.

Waterspouts like this are characterised by extremely strong winds that often exceed hurricane speeds (> 120 km/h), especially if they’re fully developed. Estimates of hurricane speeds can be inferred from the damage they cause when they reach the mainland. Therefore, it is clear that there is a great danger of waterspouts like the one in the video engulfing boats or other vessels, or indeed arriving ashore.

The duration of waterspouts is usually up to about ten minutes, but sometimes they do last much longer. In the Adriatic, waterspouts can occur at any time of the year, but most often they happen during the summer and especially in the autumn, when fronts above the still warm sea begin to occur much more frequently.

Although waterspouts are still a relatively rare occurrence, there are, unfortunately, documented  encounters with waterspouts in the Adriatic sea that have ended tragically. 

Watch the video of the Elaphite waterspout taken from Lopud here:

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