Photo: Tim Osborn / NOAA Coast Survey
Tim Osborn, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coast Survey, was on Grand Isle, Louisiana. when he spotted something weird in the sky:
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"[A man] came running in and said, 'There's a waterspout out there!'" Osborn told OurAmazingPlanet. So Osborn grabbed his camera and started snapping, catching the birth of not one, but two waterspouts as they spun up over waters just north of the island.
"You could clearly see them forming in the sky," he said, "and I was able to get them on the camera as they were starting to drop."
Two spinning vortexes formed in the clouds and dropped lower and lower, until they reached the waters below, kicking up spray as they moved in formation toward the island.
Osborn said he immediately called colleagues at the National Weather Service, who told him they'd been tracking the storm system. Less than 30 seconds later, tornado sirens began to wail.
Osborn said that, in comparison to waterspouts he's seen in the past, these twisters were "really surprising. They not only grew in size, they traveled in tandem, and lasted longer than most — about 10 or 15 minutes."