After an otherwise sunny afternoon in the town of Emerald Isle just off the coast of North Carolina, Joshua Lanier spotted an ominous cylindrical mass swirling just above the water's surface.

Lanier caught it on camera from his beach house shortly after 6 p.m. on Friday and posted it to Twitter, where upwards of 3,000 people have since watched the video.

The tornado-like vortex he filmed is what's known as a waterspout.

But it's not the first to make an appearance along the North Carolina shoreline this year.
Another waterspout was filmed at Wrightsville Beach in June, just 200 yards off the beach, WRAL reported. It was short lived, but WRAL reported the National Weather Service still issued a special marine warning after the waterspout shifted offshore.

The NWS in Newport and Morehead City, North Carolina, said there was actually an influx of waterspout reports across the state on Monday.

The phenomenon isn't new to Emerald Isle, a beach town on the Crystal Coast and just south of the Outer Banks, a popular tourist destination. Town officials thought a waterspout that came ashore in December was to blame for some minor property damage that befell residents, the Carteret County News-Times reported.