That's what residents of Panama City Beach, Florida saw in 2012, at the exact moment the offshore humidity was high enough to cause the low-forming clouds to look like giant heavenly harbingers. Once friction slows the air down, it creates the illusion of clouds splashing over the city skyline, minus the casualties that come with regular old tsunamis. While scary-looking, they're just about the best kind of tsunami you could hope for, if you're in the habit of hoping for tsunamis.
If that's close to what you'd imagine an F6 tornado would look like, you're not all that far off the mark. What some call "rain bombs" have been described as "tornadoes in reverse." They don't only have a problematic appearance; they can really ruin your outdoor plans if you're not accustomed to air and water blasting out of the sky at you at speeds of over 115 miles per hour.
These come about when a dry patch of air gets in the way of a thunderstorm and sucks away some of the storm's moisture, which is a great way to piss off a storm. Below the storm cloud, the air begins to cool, eventually becoming denser than the surrounding air. The cool air drops into warmer air, starts to accelerate, and next thing you know, you're in the middle of Neptune's temper tantrum.
They're also pretty hard to predict, so the next time you think a picnic sounds like a good idea, maybe just stay the hell inside. Forever.
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That sea smoke looks a lot like ... Purple Rain, doesn't it?/b>
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