Waterspout north of Upper Sugarloaf Key
© Jason Harding
Waterspout north of Upper Sugarloaf Key
Parts of the Florida Keys got more than 3 inches of rain on Wednesday and pea-sized hail with afternoon thunderstorms that rolled through on the west winds.

The storms also spun up multiple waterspouts.

Researchers estimate about 500 waterspouts form off Florida each year, and many of those are concentrated along the state's southeast shore.

When waterspouts form from storm clouds, those clouds can carry them onshore, at which point they are considered tornadoes. But they are usually much weaker, and of shorter duration, than a tornado that has formed over land. A typical waterspout is more stationary than a tornado, and lasts only about 5 to 10 minutes.