The massive funnel cloud known as a waterspout in RAK. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A rare fair-weather waterspout swirled across coastal waters off Ras Al Khaimah late Tuesday morning, said the national weather bureau.

The National Centre of Meteorology in Abu Dhabi posted an eyewitness video of the waterspout air-and-water column moving swiftly along coastal waters appearing to have dropped out of the storm clouds that have draped the north eastern reaches of the UAE since Sunday bringing heavy rains.

There were no reports of any injuries on Tuesday morning from boats that may have been in the area.

The funnel cloud appears to have extended several thousand feet into low-level clouds.

Mohammad Al Khajeh, a national weather forecaster, confirmed the video was posted on Tuesday shortly after 11am on the weather centre’s twitter account.

“It’s rare,” Al Khajeh said.

Waterspouts are uncommon in the UAE given they need just the right storm cloud and rainy conditions to form.

He said waterspouts form when low-lying clouds leave a shorter vertical distance to the ocean surface and winds can quickly begin to swirl.

“The base of the cloud was very close to the sea and it created a rotation,” Al Khajeh said from the capital, adding water spouts can bring high winds and rough waters that can threaten watercraft navigating nearby.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an American agency that reports on atmospheric and ocean conditions, waterspouts can take many forms on the water.

“They are sometimes seen as threatening funnel clouds descending from stormy skies. Others can be nearly invisible, like a ghostly spiral of wind skimming the sea surface. These eerie columns of rotating air are known as waterspouts — commonly defined as tornadoes over water,” said the agency on its website.

“Waterspouts usually develop over warm tropical ocean waters. They’re spotted in the Florida Keys more than any other place in the world. They’ve also been seen over the waters of the Great Lakes.

“Scientists that study waterspouts generally put them in two categories: fair weather and tornadic,” said NOAA.

Rainy, cloudy weather across the UAE is expected to clear by late Wednesday, said Khajeh.