Scientists Map Global Waterspout Distribution For the First Time

     Researchers at the International Centre for Waterspout Research are compiling waterspout reports from around the world in order to better understand where these phenomena occur on a global scale.

     Mapping of waterspout distributions have taken place locally in some countries in the past, however, a global mapping has never been attempted until now. The project, called the “Global Waterspout Mapping Project”, has been underway since November 2011 and is expected to continue for several more years. Preliminary results show that waterspouts are most frequently reported near the coast and in the vicinity of population centres. The global “hot spot” for waterspout sightings is in the Florida Keys, however, it is hypothesized that the waters surrounding southeast Asia and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (an area which extends around the globe near the equator), may have even higher numbers of waterspouts.

    Waterspouts are a marine and aviation hazard. Understanding the global distribution of waterspouts will help identify risk areas that can be used by marine and aviation communities in their planning activities.