A FUNNEL cloud was spotted in the North-East on Tuesday.

The spiralling whirlwind was seen over Bishop Auckland just before noon as the weather took a turn for the worse.

A Northern Echo reader sent pictures of the rotating column of wind which could be seen beneath dark clouds.

A funnel cloud is formed in the same way as a tornado, building around a localised area of low pressure and they are typically associated with the formation of cumulonimbus thunderclouds, meaning that heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightning will likely follow.

A funnel cloud becomes a tornado if it makes contact with the ground.

A spokesman for the Met Office confirmed that the UK sees around 30 funnel clouds a year.