Water spout forms off Sussex coast

Water spout from Bexhill Sailing Club
Image caption The Adams family photographed the water spout from Bexhill Sailing Club

Cool air meeting warmer than average water caused a water spout seen from the East Sussex coast, according to a weather expert.

Residents in Bexhill, Hastings and St Leonards said it was visible for about five minutes just after 16:00 BST.

"You could see quite a large funnel cloud coming down and it just got bigger and bigger," said witness Neil Cunningham. "I was quite amazed."

Weather expert Ian Currie said water spouts were most common in October.

Tuesday's water spout happened during a heavy thunderstorm.

Mr Currie, who edits the magazine Weather Eye, said: "The weather today is very unstable with a lot of cool air, but the sea is still warm for the time of year.

"When the air is very cold it causes these huge shower clouds and they can lead to a vortex formation.

"At sea it is a water spout but sometimes they can come over land and then it becomes a tornado."