‘Largest of a lifetime’ waterspout spotted off South Wales coast

A waterspout described as “the biggest in a lifetime” has been spotted off the coast of South Wales as strong winds hit the UK.

James Thomas, 47, a watersports industry agent, spotted the unusual phenomenon at Llantwit Major Beach in South Wales on Saturday morning.

“As I stood there watching, I thought to myself that this is probably the best example of a waterspout I’ve ever seen in my life,” Thomas told the PA News Agency.

“Over the years I’ve seen quite a few on the Bristol Channel, but it was by far the biggest.”

Also known as funnel or snorkel clouds, waterspouts form when a spinning column of wind attracts cloud droplets, according to the Met Office.

Mr Thomas said he spied on Saturday’s weather show while watching a surfing contest.

“It started out quite small and high enough in the sky, and as we continued to watch it seemed to get darker and started to tilt towards the surface of the sea, as if it was coming towards us,” did he declare.

“I quickly realized that it was a waterspout when I could see the spray spinning on the surface of the water, like magnetic energy.

“I was shouting out to all of the contestants to look up and see this phenomenal natural event.”

The sighting comes as the Met Office warned parts of the UK may have seen tornadoes on Sunday, as strong winds and rain hit the country.

Gusts of over 80 mph have been recorded and yellow warnings for wind and rain are in place over much of the west and elsewhere.

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