This photo of a waterspout near the Peconic Bay was posted by a Twitter user Friday. (Photo credit: @BarbaraLayburn)
This photo of a waterspout near the Peconic Bay was posted by a Twitter user Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. (Photo credit: @BarbaraLayburn)

East End residents caught a glimpse of a rare, tornado-like spiral of accelerating sea mist Friday afternoon near the Peconic Bay during a fast-moving rainstorm, according to the National Weather Service.

Locals were amazed by the extraordinary weather event, dubbed a “waterspout” by weather experts, which can sometimes be confused with a twister, capturing the unusual and bizarre phenomenon on their smart phones and posting them to social media sites.

According to  the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the abnormality’s official definition means: “a whirling column of air and water mist.”

The waterspout was spotted southeast of Jamesport, near the Peconic Bay, according to Bill Goodman, meteorologist at the Upton-based National Weather Service.

It was spawned by a heavy shower that moved over the area around 2 p.m., he said.

The waterspout “interacted with the sea breeze moving from the ocean and into the area,” he noted, adding that the entire event didn’t last very long.

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