VIDEO: Huge waterspout off the Gulf Coast

(YouTube, Jeff Pettit)
Beach-goers on Alabama's Mobile Bay got to witness a cool weather phenomenon Thursday.

A waterspout, though not technically a tornado, is often called a "tornado over water." Though this quickly spinning column of air has the potential to be dangerous, they are usually weak.

That doesn't make them any less magnificent to watch, as long as you keep a safe distance.
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