Gulf coast waterspouts: Tornadoes on water caught on camera in Louisiana & Florida

TAMPA BAY - At least two waterspouts – or tornadoes on water – were caught on camera Wednesday in the Gulf Coast, capturing a beautiful but potentially-dangerous display of Mother Nature's power.

Several viewers sent WFTS, our Scripps sister station, pictures of a waterspout that popped up in the bay Wednesday afternoon.

It never moved onshore and didn't cause any damage or injuries, WFTS reported.

Across the Gulf of Mexico, a different waterspout reportedly moved onshore near New Orleans, causing some minor damage by the coast.

PHOTOS | Waterspouts touch down in Gulf Coast

The fire department in Grand Isle, La., reported a power line down and some minor roof damage, according to WWLTV in New Orleans.

There were no injuries, the television station reported.

Waterspouts, according to the National Weather Service, take one of two forms: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.

Tornadic waterspouts form in the clouds of severe thunderstorms. They either form over water or move from land to water. They often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.

A fair weather waterspout is a little different, and much more common. They usually form in otherwise calm skies and go through a five-stage life cycle that begins on the water's surface and moves upward.

Waterspouts in either form can be dangerous and are to be taken seriously, the Weather Service warns. They're most common in the Florida Keys, but their damaging effects have been seen in the Great Lakes, the Atlantic Ocean and even a Kansas lake.

A tornado capsized the tour boat Whippoorwill, killing 16 people on Pamona Lake, Kan., on June 17, 1978.  Twenty-five crewmembers died on an anchored schooner when a tornado moved off land into the harbor in Charleston, S.C., in 1814.

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