The funnel, which I first saw at 11:10 a.m., persisted, proving itself a legitimate funnel. But was it a tornado? Or perhaps a waterspout? We were in Cocoa, Florida, driving east toward the Indian River Lagoon. When we finally got through all the traffic and trees and stores to the riverbank, the funnel was in the last moments of roping out.
Later, the National Weather Service office in Melbourne confirmed they had a report of a waterspout by the 528 causeway. So it did “touch down,” but not on land. That said, it looked tornadic to me. My chaser friends say I should count it as this season’s first tornado.
Regardless of what you call it, this was a pretty rare sight for this part of Florida. It didn’t look like much on radar, but the funnel just proves that surprises happen all the time. Here’s the video.