The sole difference between a funnel cloud
and a tornado is that the latter touches the ground, typically resulting in some property damage, meteorologist Colby Neuman said.
Which was how we came to be watching with considerable interest as the funnel cloud
twisted for a few moments, then dissipated as quickly as it had formed.
Mr Kings said there had been a number of tornadoes in recent weeks across the city, but none with funnel cloud
formations, so-called twisters.
What makes our job more difficult when looking for a missing person here is the insufficient or unclear information, the rough, rocky, and sloppy mountainous areas which are hard to get to, apart from the unstable weather conditions - mainly the atmospheric pressures - funnel clouds
, and heavy showers.
She added: "It is more likely that what people are seeing are funnel clouds
which are cone-shaped and extend down from the the base of a cloud.
The storms are capable of producing funnel clouds
and possible waterspouts.
Tornadoes often begin as funnel clouds
with no associated strong winds at the surface, and not all funnel clouds
evolve into tornadoes.
Ian Fergusson, from the Met Office, said: "There were several thunderstorms in the area and if one of the funnel clouds
touched down on to the beach, making it a tornado, it could have quite possibly picked up the seaweed.
Met Office spokesman Dan Williams said: "We see about 30 tornadoes in the UK a year, but a lot more funnel clouds
and water spouts.
He said: "The convection and instability across this front could potentially have produced funnel clouds
or even weak tornados.
The two confirmed tornadoes in Massachusetts were extraordinary because the funnel clouds
do not often form in that part of the US, with just one or two smaller tornadoes typically reported each year, the Boston Globe reported.
Doty, manager for the Mugar Omni Theatre and Bose 3-D Digital Cinema at the museum said the spate of tornadoes last month has translated into boffo attendance for the movie that shows tornado chasers setting up their technologically advanced equipment in the path of angry looking funnel clouds
in their every spring effort to gather information on the frequently deadly storms.