Real bad news, my sympathy goes out to the lost kiters family and friends. As visible as waterspouts are, kiters still fall victim to them at times. In the case of "fair weather" waterspouts the sun and partial cloudiness might take them in. A kiter was killed by one of these in Italy with another coming close to it.
A waterspout in Cerveteri, Italy on 6.20.09. Three kiters were lofted almost simultaneously with one fataly striking a building, another hitting a car and the third was able to emergency depower while on the beach.
"Real bad news, my sympathy goes out to the lost kiters family and friends. Best wishes for the full recovery of the other rider who was lofted at the same time. It looks like a third kiter was lofted but didn't suffer serious injury.
Cerveteri, tornado sweeps surfers:
33enne building on crash dies
ROME (June 20) - They were doing kite-surf near the center of Ocean Surf Margherite the way to Campo di Mare (Cerveteri) when, at about 13.30, he caught a tornado making him take a flight of several meters . A man of 33 years originally from Cerveteri, living in Treviso and kitesurf instructor, was banged on the roof of a building of the promenade of Via delle Margherite and fall to the ground, ended against a railing of iron shot on the dying.
Another surfer, thirty, is over against the car passavno currently showing several fractures for which he has been admitted to the Gemelli Polyclinic, where he was transported to eliambulanza. Despite the prognosis confidential, is not in danger of life. More lucky the third, fallen on a stretch of beach: if you got with no serious injuries.
The swimmers who have witnessed the incident told the fire brigade intervened to have seen a whirlwind of air and the surfer, then dead, then a flight of 30-40 meters.
and a TV report, http://tg24.sky.it/tg24/cronaca/2009/06 ... morto.html
Looking at the satellite loop, it looks like a frontal boundary passed over the area of Italy around midday."
We have also had a kiter permanently paralyzed by yet another waterspout. All were blown horizontally with substantial force at speed. Waterspouts have sunk boats and played havoc with things at sea since we've been out there. I would avoid them like the plague.
Waterspout wind field. Checkout the horizontal outflow component and the undefined vertical component by the shaft. Winds plenty strong enough to mess up a kiter.
There are fair weather waterspouts, such as frequent the Florida Keys and Great Lakes. These generate winds on the order of less than 60 mph to around 100 mph, perhaps more. These are associated with cummulous clouds. Then there are tornadic waterspouts connected to supercell cummulonimbus storm clouds. The super cell can throw out lethal winds all by itself without any input from the waterspout. This is a far more common scenario where kiters are concerned. Tornadic waterspouts can develop into as high as F5 tornados on land although rarely. An F1 twister is plenty enough to kill you though if you have a kite up, regardless of kite orientation.
Here is a video of a waterspout that went ashore in Australia and turned into a tornado in short order. Checkout the debris field, anyone up for flying a kite through this?