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Watch: Waterspout tosses boats on family’s Lake Samish dock

The waterspout was caught on camera lifting multiple boats and children’s toys on a family’s Lake Samish property.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A waterspout was caught on camera on Lake Samish Monday evening.

The recording showed the waterspout on the eastern shore of the lake near Bellingham, according to the National Weather Service.

Video taken by Amy Ping and her family showed the waterspout forming closer to the middle of the lake and tossing a rowboat, a canoe, children’s toys, and other items as it neared the shore. In total, the spout damaged three boats and resulted in other minor damages to the property.

The NWS classified the event as a waterspout and not a tornado because it dissipated rapidly as it came onshore. The event was picked up on radar "with little to no signal of significant rotation," the NWS said. 

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A waterspout is a whirling column of air and water mist, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). There are two different types: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.

Fair weather waterspouts form on the surface of the water and work their way upwards, according to the NOAA. They form in light wind conditions and normally move very little.

Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water and have the same characteristics as a land tornado, according to the NOAA. They are linked with severe thunderstorms and often occur during periods of high wind and seas, large hail and lightning.

Because the NWS determined the waterspout on Lake Samish was not a tornado, it did not receive a tornado rating on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale.