It isn't clear whether the cloud is spinning, according to photos and videos posted by New York City residents on Twitter Tuesday. One user, Michael Uturn, however, described the cloud as "baby brooklyn tornado."
— michael uturn (@michaeluturn) July 17, 2018
"I think that's just scud. No rotation visible and spouts usually don't look that ragged," one Twitter user commented on the video.
"Saw this too. Sorry to say but just scud. There wasn't any rotation that I saw. Funny how news stations want to use your footage. Hope they verify before reporting," another user added.
Scud clouds are wind-torn cloud fragments that are often mistaken for tornadoes.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scud clouds are "small, ragged, low cloud fragments that are unattached to a larger cloud base and often seen with and behind cold fronts and thunderstorm gust fronts." They do not produce severe weather conditions.
Another video posted on Twitter by Max Guliani shows what looks like a waterspout over New York Harbor at the mouth of the Hudson River.
— Max Guliani (@maximusupinNYc) July 17, 2018
According to the US National Weather Service, the city is under both a heat advisory and a flash flood watch until 6 p.m., as thunderstorms are expected to bring heavy rains on this humid Tuesday.