Tornadoes off the coast of Mallorca today. | LEPAPLANESPOTTER

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At midday today Mallorca was hit by a freak storm. In places like Colònia de Sant Jordi several waterspout tornadoes also known as "mangas marinas", swept along the south coast of Mallorca.

These waterspouts are created from vertically developing clouds formed by a column of warm, humid air that rises in a rotating spiral from the water to the base of the cloud. According to the Aemet met. office they are tornadoes over water. "They consist of vortices or whirlwinds frequently connected to cumuliform clouds.

The lower part of a waterspout may consist of water spray. The column usually becomes steeper and steeper over time due to wind shear in the lower layer below the storm or parent cloud". They add: "In general, they do not reach the size and wind speed of typical land-based tornadoes and are relatively short-lived (most do not exceed EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale)," they said.