The National Weather Center says if one is seen, people should move at a 90-degree angle away from its motion.
Longboat Key saw its first possible waterspout of the season Sunday, and various residents took to social media to share their sightings.
According to the National Weather Center, a waterspout is similar to a tornado over water. Tornadic waterspouts often are accompanied by high winds and seas, as well as frequent lightning.
Fair weather waterspouts are less dangerous, the NWC reports, but are common over South Florida's waters from late spring to early fall. Fair weather waterspouts typically form early to mid-morning along bases of developing cumulus clouds.
Tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, while fair weather waterspouts develop on the surface of the water and work their way upward.
If a person sees a waterspout, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the best thing to do is head away from the motion of the waterspout at a 90-degree angle.
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