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Picture captures a waterspout spotted off the coast of Overstrand near Cromer, seen sucking water up from the sea

PUBLISHED: 17:11 22 August 2014

Waterspout spotted off the coast of Overstrand, near Cromer. Picutre: Carl Chapman

Waterspout spotted off the coast of Overstrand, near Cromer. Picutre: Carl Chapman

Wildlife Tours and Education

An unusual weather phenomenon was spotted off the coast near Overstrand when a waterspout was seen drawing sea water up into the clouds above.

Carl Chapman, from Wildlife Tours and Education, said he saw the spout near Cromer at 10.19 this morning.

“I was photographing swallows at the time,” he said. “It died away and then came back and lasted for about 20 minutes.”

Weatherquest forecaster Chris Bell said waterspouts occurred when water was transferred from the sea to the clouds above.

He said: “There will be winds that are moving at different speeds. Near the surface you might have winds that are light but up in the atmosphere they might be stronger.”

Near the surface of the water the winds start to blow from different directions, known as horizontal wind shear, which can sometimes make it move or spin and form a funnel.

Mr Bell said waterspouts are not uncommon and often appear off the south coast in the summer.

While waterspouts are not dangerous onshore, Mr Bell said it could pose a threat to ships if they were directly underneath the spout.

However he said: “It would be very unlucky for someone to get caught out, the waterspouts sit fairly still.”

He said the wind would be travelling from between 50 to 80mph at the base of the spout.

Did you see the waterspout? Send your pictures to sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk

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