Now Northern Ireland’s bizarre weather has delivered the rare sight of a tornado off the north Antrim coast.
The double-tailed freak weather phenomenon was spotted by the owners of a guest house near Bushmills as they served up breakfast on Easter Sunday morning.
Geoff and Mabel Dunlop couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the towering water spout roaring across the sea for about 15 minutes before |disappearing.
The Dunseverick couple were busy making breakfast for guests at the Seaview B&B on the Whitepark Road at around 8.45am when they saw what looked like a “cloud with two tails”. The couple soon realised they were witnessing something out of the ordinary and grabbed their camera.
The dark, twisting column of air turned the previously calm sea choppy, splashing furiously and churning up the water with its extreme force.
It appeared from the west and travelled along the coast towards Rathlin Island, before disappearing out of sight after 15 minutes.
While nowhere near on the same scale as massive tornadoes seen in parts of the US, this weather event is rarely |recorded in Northern Ireland.
“I've have lived on the coast here for over 15 years and have never seen anything like it. The horizon was totally clear and then the sky went completely black. It was eerie,” Mrs Dunlop said.
“We had guests from England. They have a great memory of their holiday in Northern Ireland that they are unlikely to forget in a hurry.”
According to TORRO, The Tornado & Storm Research Organisation, tornadoes may occur at any time of the year, but there have been a higher number of verified reports during the summer. Many occurrences go unreported, but in recent years, the number of |reported and verified in |Ireland per year is around nine.
What is a tornado?