Wollongong residents got to see a waterspout off the coast on Monday morning .... or did they?
At around 10.30am an odd twisting shape was spotted coming down from the clouds.
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Several people took photos and posted it to social media but, when Bureau of Meteorology's Hugh McDowell saw them, he couldn't say for sure what it was.
He had three ideas - a tornado, waterspout or funnel cloud.
How you tell one from the other is whether they're touching down or not - something which is not visible in photos that have been posted.
"A waterspout, a funnel cloud or a tornado is a column of rotating air that's coming out of the base of a cumulus cloud or a cumulonimbus cloud," Mr McDowell, a meteorologist, said.
"It would be a funnel cloud if it doesn't touch the ground. It's a tornado if it touches ground over land. It's a water spout if it touches ground over water."
He said it was "perfectly possible" it was a waterspout because the conditions - cold air and thunderstorms off the coast - were right.
But it could still be a funnel cloud too.