At least five waterspouts formed off the coast of North Carolina on Thursday, with one of the twisters reaching the beach and turning into a tornado that damaged a wooden deck and tossed barrels in the air, according to reports from WSOC-9 and NBC-17.
According to WECT-6, no injuries were reported.
The National Weather Service describes that there are two types of waterspouts: tornadic waterspouts and fair weather waterspouts. Tornadic waterspouts are essentially torandoes over water, tend to form during thunderstorms and can move from water to land. Fair weather waterspouts, which are less dangerous, develop in calm weather and move very little.
August typically has prime conditions for waterspouts, said meteorologist Michael Colby in the weather service's Wilmington office.
"Waterspouts seem to thrive in an environment where very warm waters and light winds are in the lowest several thousand feet in the atmosphere," he said.
In May, a series of large waterspouts formed off the coast of Australia. Just one month before that, rare twin waterspouts were seen off Hawaii's coast.
Check out the slideshow to watch three videos of the waterspouts and tornado.