‘I’ve never seen anything like that’ – waterspout spotted in Southwold

A waterspout caught the attention of coastal tourists and residents in Southwold on Friday after it was spotted moving across the sea.

The weather phenomenon was filmed by Lisa Wroe, 49, from Flint in Wales, while on holiday in Suffolk.

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"I was sat near the pier and it went very dark in the distance and started thundering," Ms Wroe told the PA news agency.

"I noticed out to sea what looked like smoke on the horizon. On closer inspection I realised the sea was being churned up directly underneath this long pointed 'arrow' coming out of the sky.

"Then the lifeguards cleared the beach, presumably as a precaution. It started raining heavily and the tornado travelled along the horizon, and thankfully not towards us. It was very weird and I've never seen anything like that before."

Ms Wroe said the waterspout disappeared as the horizon darkened with the arrival of rain.

Such an occurrence is also known as a funnel cloud before it reaches the Earth's surface, described by the Met Office as: "A cone-shaped cloud which extends from the base of a cloud towards the ground without actually reaching the surface."

A funnel cloud becomes a tornado if it reaches land, or a waterspout if it reaches a body of water.