MELBOURNE, Fla. (Florida Today) -- A fully developed waterspout formed just east of Patrick Air Force Base on Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
"We received multiple reports both from our storm spotters and by social media that there was a waterspout just offshore of Patrick Air Force Base," said Will Ullrich, a meteorologist with NWS.
NWS also received a call from Patrick Air Force Base's flight line tower.
Ullrich said the mature waterspout formed 2 to 3 miles east of Patrick at around 8:15 p.m. and lasted about 15 minutes.
A waterspout is a tornado over water. They are capable of moving off land and onto water, as well off water and onto land while remaining in tact. Both are damaging, with the former posing a threat to boats.
This specific waterspout was most likely a non-supercell type, which is common during Florida summers, according to Ullrich.
"Because the wind carried the waterspout parallel to the shoreline, the only danger was really to mariners," he said.
Ullrich also said waterspouts aren't usually visible on weather radar, as they're too small to see.
"We were lucky that we got so many pictures of it, too. It's a pretty neat event for us."