Image
© Denys Carrier.
Photo of the Nanaimo waterspout.
If you were in Nanaimo on Thursday and saw what looked like a water tornado, you weren't dreaming.

A waterspout watch was issued by Environment Canada yesterday at 5 p.m after one was spotted a few kilometers off the city's coast.

They form in much the same way as land tornadoes, created from air and water mist moving upward from an ocean or lake. Global BC meteorologist Kristi Gordon says a strong storm that moved down the Strait of Georgia on Thursday created the conditions necessary for this one.

While waterspouts can happen on B.C.'s waters, they are rare - this was just the second on the Georgia Strait this year.