Boat crew spots waterspout off N.J. amid severe thunderstorm

Bonanza II crew member James Dawson captured this image of a waterspout in the Delaware Bay off Cumberland County Tuesday evening. The waterspout is illuminated by lightning. (Image courtesy of Bonanza II)

Bonanza II crew member James Dawson captured this image of a waterspout in the Delaware Bay off Cumberland County Tuesday evening. The waterspout is illuminated by lightning. (Image courtesy of Bonanza II)

The crew aboard a fishing vessel had the rare experience of spotting a waterspout over the Delaware Bay early Tuesday evening as severe thunderstorms roared through the region.

Bonanza II captain Mike Rothman says he spotted the waterspout within two miles of the boat’s location “just off” Fortescue in Cumberland County as they were heading back to port after a fishing trip.

“Get everybody inside and in the back, please,” Rothman can be heard saying in the video below.

Valerie Meola, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, said a severe thunderstorm warning was up for the area as storms were moving through Cumberland County and entered the Delaware Bay around 8:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service had issued a marine warning for the Delaware Bay near Cumberland County that advised of the potential for waterspouts. Meola doesn’t believe the waterspout came onto land.

It’s not the first time in recent years that a waterspout was spotted near the New Jersey coastline. A weather observer spotted one off Long Beach Island in August 2018, and a Jersey Shore Hurricane News contributor captured this dramatic video of a waterspout off Mantoloking in July 2018.

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