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VIDEO: Sea tornado spouts up at Bray

A dolphin watcher in Wicklow spotted the seaspout phenomenon this morning as she tried to capture the sunrise.
Apr 14th 2012, 11:23 AM 23,923 20

A NUMBER OF people spotted this amazing video by Aoife McNulty of East Coast Kayaks in Bray this morning and sent it to us here at TheJournal.ie.

Many witnesses, understandably, thought it was a twister but in fact it is a tornado of the water, also known as a sea spout.

Luckily, they are not as destructive as their doppelgangers but they are more interesting than a sunrise, which is what Aoife was hoping to capture at about 7 o’clock this morning.


(YouTube credit: Aoife McNulty on aoifeno1)

Ireland is starting to get used to some bizarre weather moments but seaspouts are actually quite common in coastal locations.

According to Karl Melhorn of the Irish Weather Network, water spouts at sea are caused by a vertical wind sheer- a wind force that changes direction as it goes higher. This leads to the formation of a vertical funnel.

The differing directions of the wind and the atmosphere create a spinning, rotating effect.

Melhorn told TheJournal.ie that there was an explosion of activity just east of Howth from about 6.30am this morning over the Irish Sea. There may even have been more than one funnel, he said. There were also reports of thunder, lightening, hailstones and heavy winds.

Once a seaspout hits ground, it becomes a tornado but this will depend on how strong the wind sheer is. This funnel disappeared as it hit Bray Head.

“Seaspouts may seem more common now because we have the technology to see them,” concluded Melhorn.

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Sinead O'Carroll

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