A Funnel Cloud was spotted in the skies over Tulla in County Clare yesterday (Tuesday) evening.
A funnel cloud is a rapidly rotating funnel-shaped cloud extending downward from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud, which, if it touches the surface of the earth, is classified as a tornado.
Photographer Brian Buckley captured the above shots of the funnel, which formed under the flanking region of a thunderstorm that passed over mid-Clare yesterday afternoon.
The rope-like feature is more often associated with a dissipating rather than forming tornado which could suggest that a tornado could potentially have formed over Tulla.
Ireland and UK have more tornadoes per square km than the United States. Met Éireann says there are approximately 10 recorded tornadoes in Ireland every year.
Funnel clouds are occasionally seen in Irish skies and are usually associated with thunderstorms. In July 2013, photographer David Hunt captured the below dramatic shots of a funnel near Sixmilebridge.
Meanwhile, there were dramatic scenes in Clare last evening when thunderstorms resulted in extensive blackouts and flash flooding.
A series of thunderstorms over a 2 hour period flooded some roads around Ballyvaughan. A video uploaded to YouTube (see below) showed one motorist abandoning her attempts to travel along one road which was under 3 feet of water.
Ballyvaughan Flooding, 20 May 2014
Thunderstorms also resulted in extensive power cuts across County Clare yesterday with Lisdoonvarna, Kilshanny, Ennistymon, Corofin, Kilfenora and Ballyvaughan particularly badly affected. The ESB said parts of its network had been damaged by lightning strikes.
The recent thundery weather in County Clare is set to be replaced by drier and sunnier weather during the weekend and early next week however, according to Met Éireann.
The national meteorological agency said that while scattered showers are possible at times, there are “indications that the early days may be drier overall with improving temperatures.”
The weather is expected to become drier in western parts of Ireland from this Friday with the heaviest of any showers occurring in the east and north of the country. Temperatures will initially range 12-15c but could rise to the late teens early next week as high pressure seeks to build over Ireland.
Meanwhile, Irish Weather Online forecaster Peter O’Donnell has said: “There is some chance of further showers next week but there are encouraging signs from the most reliable guidance that it could become dry and warmer although with lower humidity levels. Highs could reach the lower 20s.”