Waterspouts are similar to tornadoes, but they form in a different manner. Generally, waterspouts are given the honor of being called a "tornado over water". But waterspouts are not truly given the name of a real tornado until they reach land.
The Two Types of WaterspoutsWater spouts can start as tornadoes over land. If they move over a body of water, they are classified as tornadic. This type of waterspout can be fairly destructive.
The second type of waterspout is formed over water initially due to warm temperatures in the lower atmosphere along with high humidity. Fair weather waterspouts are generally not as dangerous and are more common than tornadic waterspouts. However, boaters and people who live near larger bodies of water should take waterspout warnings and watches very seriously.