'Amazing' waterspout off Suffolk coast

Thorpeness water spout Image copyright Weather Watcher 'Michellef'
Image caption Weather Watcher 'Michellef' photographed the waterspout at Thorpeness

A waterspout spiralling above the sea in Suffolk provided a stunning sight on Saturday.

The weather phenomenon, which is similar to a tornado, could be seen swirling off the coast around Thorpeness and Aldeburgh.

Jackie Butler, of Leiston, watched the waterspout while walking her dogs on Sizewell beach on Saturday evening.

"All of a sudden we could see there was a spout coming down into the water," she said.

"It literally drew the water up into itself and continued for 30 minutes and then stopped. As we stood and watched it, it reformed again.

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Media caption'Amazing' waterspout off Suffolk coast

"It was amazing, absolutely amazing."

Image copyright Jackie Butler
Image caption Jackie Butler was stunned by the waterspout at Sizewell
Image copyright Weather Watcher 'Cloud Nine'
Image caption Weather Watcher 'Cloud Nine' sent in this photograph of the waterspout at Aldeburgh
Image copyright Steve Taylor
Image caption Steve Taylor also photographed the waterspout at Aldeburgh
Image copyright Reinhard Olbrich
Image caption Reinhard Olbrich and other customers of The Dophin Inn looked on as the waterspout swirled in the moody sky at Aldeburgh

Meteorologist and BBC Look East weather forecaster Dan Holley said: "Essentially a waterspout is just a tornado but over water.

"Both begin life as a funnel cloud - a rotating column of air underneath a shower or thunderstorm - which, once it's extended to the ground becomes a tornado if it's on land, or named a waterspout if over water.

"On Saturday we had a line of wind convergence where northwesterly winds inland met an easterly sea breeze from the North Sea.

"Where the two opposing winds meet, the air gets forced upwards to create showers, and with a little spin can occasionally create funnel clouds."

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