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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

The waterspout was filmed off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah on Tuesday. Courtesy storms_group

WATCH: Rare waterspout swirls off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah 

A rare waterspout has been captured swirling off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah.

The spiral of air and water was spotted less than 1,000 metres off the coast at Khor Khwair.

Video footage of the spout was posted to the Instagram page of the UAE-based Storms_Group.

Taken by Mohamed Al Rahbi, one of the group's members, it shows the spout churning parallel to the coast at 9:50am on Tuesday.

It had a depth of about 2,133 metres. Water spouts are uncommon here but can occur when the conditions are right.

"Usually it happens in times of unstable weather conditions, especially in transitional periods such as winter to summer," Sufian Farrah of the National Centre of Meteorology told The National.

"This [spout] continues to move in a spiral way for ten to 15 minutes. Then it vanished."

In this case, warm and very humid air formed over a small area of the water surface. A cold air mass far above created strong instability and caused the warm air to start swirling upwards and make a vortex at the water surface.

"This is rare but it has been witnessed in Sharjah and over the western coast of Abu Dhabi before," he said.

Waterspouts are related to other phenomena such as whirlwinds and tornadoes and can occur in all shapes or sizes. They can also suck up some water.

The appearance of the waterspout coincides with a bout of settled weather across the UAE.

Rain, hail and flash floods have hit the country over the past week signalling the end of summer.

More is forecast over parts of the UAE until the weekend.

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