Waterspouts seen over Lake Michigan off Kenosha shoreline

Published On: Sep 13 2013 08:54:07 AM HST

The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department sounded the tornado sirens Thursday afternoon after a funnel cloud was sighted and waterspouts were seen over Lake Michigan.

The National Weather Service did not see rotation in the storm clouds on radar, so no official tornado warning was issued.

The Sheriff's Office said the spouts were a couple of miles offshore south of 104th Street.

Sgt. Bill Beth of the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department said the two waterspouts merged into one large one, then split.

Beth said it was a "beautiful day" when the waterspouts "just popped out of nowhere."

National Weather Service meteorologist Ed Townsend said waterspouts generally occur between August and October.

There were no reports of any damage or that the funnel cloud touched down, the Sheriff's Department said, but the U.S. Coast Guard checked on a report of possible debris floating on Lake Michigan after the waterspouts passed near Kenosha Harbor.

Pleasant Prairie police said they got a call just after 2 p.m. from a resident who thought he had seen a boat overtaken by the waterspout.

Other people told the Sheriff's Department they were sure they saw the mast of a sailboat about 1 mile offshore that was overtaken by the southbound waterspout. When the water spout dissipated, they did not see the sailboat anymore.

The Coast Guard suspended its search at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

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