It may have looked like something out of a disaster movie – but the driver passing through was probably under no illusions to the very real threat posed by this gigantic waterspout.
The amazing natural phenomenon, which is created when tornadoes form above the sea, was spotted earlier today along the shoreline near Batemans Bay, which is 140 miles (225km) south of Sydney.
Also known as ‘water twisters’, they form when layers of cool air blowing over the water cause warm, moist air to sweep up from underneath, which then creates a swirling column of condensation.
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A car races on ahead as this waterspout appeared close to the shoreline at Batemans Bay, 140 miles south of Sydney
They can move as fast as 80 miles an hour and inside winds can spiral from 60 to 120 miles an hour.
Out on the water, they can cause considerable damage to coral reefs and marine life and pose a very real threat to boats, aircraft and swimmers.
Although rare in Australia, four colossal waterspouts swirled off the coast of Sydney at Avoca Beach in May 2011.
Meanwhile, the weather conditions in the Florida Keys are just right for the formation of at least 500 waterspouts each year.
In June, a waterspout formed off America’s east coast and swept through Hampton, Virginia, damaging boats and causing debris to fly through the air.
People look at the waterspout near to the shoreline at Batemans Bay
Even the British Isles are not immune to this natural phenomena, where around 15 water twisters are sighted each year around the coastline.
The Batemans Bay waterspout appeared as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a gale warning and forecast rough seas for the coastal region.
Attribution: Daily Mail