Spectacular waterspout tornado spotted off UK as huge column of mist whirls over sea

This is the spectacular moment a waterspout was seen off the UK coast.

Onlooker Agnieszka Kucharska was cleaning windows at a customer’s house when she noticed the unusual sight in East Sussex.

She said: ‘I have never seen anything like that. I was like ‘oh my god, what’s that’.’

Residents said the weather phenomenon on Monday formed over the sea in Eastbourne shortly after 10am .

Another eyewitness told local media she spotted the waterspout as she was walking her dog this morning.

She added: “It grabbed my attention with the way it was travelling and more so with what was going on with the water below. I’m sure I could hear noise coming from it too.”

Waterspout tornadoes form when wind merges from opposite directions near the water’s surface, creating a small area of spin.

Warm air at the surface causes the spinning air to rotate faster and it starts to rise picking up water at the same time and forming a cloud.

Sometimes the air spins so fast it stretches and a funnel appears from the water to the thunderstorm cloud above.

Waterspouts are generally not dangerous but they can be a risk for aircraft flying through the area and for coral reefs and marine life in the water immediately below.

Sailors should also try to avoid waterspouts as the consequences of floating into one could be disastrous.

The sighting came as a yellow weather warning was issued across parts of the UK as a storm from the Atlantic caused minor flooding and blew over several trees.

The Met Office warned of localised funnel clouds or tornadoes and reported there were ‘some very strong gusts of wind on the south coast’.