Mini-tornadoes stun southern Norway

A succession of rare 'mini tornadoes' have drawn crowds in the city of Arendal as they circled dramatically above the Skagerrak strait between Norway and Denmark.

Mini-tornadoes stun southern Norway
The mini-tornado hovers over the Skagerrak strait. Photo: Espen Bierud
"It looked like the sort of thing you'd see on an American documentary or something," Espen Bierud from Norway's Institute of Marine Research, which faces onto the sea, told The Local. "Many people standing around me said they'd never seen anything like it Norway."  
He said that work at the Institute had ground to a halt as the researchers made their way outside to enjoy the spectacle. 
"It didn't take too many seconds before everyone at the Institute was down at the balcony or on the dock taking pictures," he said.  "It lasted for about 20 or 30 minutes, and there were at least four different tornadoes." 
State Meteorologist Arild Mentzoni told Norway's NRK channel that the phenomenon, which  involves a spinning mass of air sucking water off the surface of the sea, was not unheard of in Norway. 
"It rotates so powerfully that it pulls in the water surrounding it," he told the channel. "It is not unusual that we have what we call a waterspout, but they are not often as strong as it appears in these photos." 
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