Funnel clouds spotted near Powell River Wednesday morning

Funnel clouds spotted near Powell River Wednesday morning
Kevin Knutsen / Facebook

Many Vancouver Islanders and residents of the Sunshine Coast woke up to a unique weather sight as a funnel cloud was spotted near Texada Island Wednesday morning.

The funnel cloud was reported on various weather apps at approximately 6 a.m. on June 9.

Kevin Knutsen is a BC Ferries crew member on Salish Orca that was about to pull out of the Little River Ferry Terminal near Comox.

He and other crew members watched in amazement as the waterspouts formed in their direct path closer to Powell River.

“Three or four of them came down at once and you could see the water just getting sucked up,” said Knutsen. “A very powerful storm for sure.”

Photos from residents on both sides of the Strait of Georgia show several funnel clouds forming out over the ocean, some were backlit as the sun rose behind it in the distance.

The rotating funnel-shaped cloud, which can typically form the core of a tornado or waterspout, is not something that is commonly seen around Vancouver Island.

“It seemed like there was a small cyclone down the centre and around the periphery of it was another distinguished body of water circling around the inner core,” said Glen Halverson, who says he saw about 10 waterspouts from Bates Beach north of Comox. “It was incredible to watch and I had to get to two jobs and didn’t want to go to either of them.”

Environment Canada says the unstable weather we’re seeing is providing the perfect conditions for waterspouts and that they can be dangerous.

“Wind speeds in the vicinity of a waterspout are quite high and can be very unpredictable especially for mariners who are out in their vessels and there’s quite a history of vessels being damaged or capsized by them,” said Environment Canada Meteorologist Lisa Erven.

Details on how many there were and their intensity are still being compiled.

Environment Canada issued a Waterspout Watch at 4 pm Wednesday alerting mariners to the potential hazard.


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