Large Funnel Cloud / Tornado Sweeps past Clara

From 5:10 to 5:25pm yesterday evening (Sunday April 27th 2014) , there was incessant thunder and lightening coming from the Ballydaly/Clara direction. It was really scary for many but out of the thunderstorm appeared a large funnel cloud, which wasn’t far from touching the ground and becoming a tornado. It was captured on camera by a few, and these are shown below. We’d like to hear your experience of the storm, and if you have reports of any damage or more photos if you have them by leaving a comment below, or by email: <email> )

2014-04-27 Funnel over Clara Mountain - by Ola Cashman - taken from Millstreet Country Park 02 - darker sky
The Funnel Cloud as it passed over the Bealach (the shoulder of Clara Mountain) at 17:27hr before slowly dispersing – photo taken by Aleksandra Cashman from the fountain beside the main building at Millstreet Country Park
2014-04-27 Funnel Cloud over Clara - by Áine O'Neill - taken from Minor Row
The funnel cloud as it passed behind Clara mountain – photo taken from Minor Row by photographer Áine O’Neill on her phone [see her photography website]
2014-04-27 Clara Funnel Cloud - James Cronin's photo 01
Funnel cloud over Clara probably when it was dispersing – taken from Cloghoulabeg by James Cronin

2014-04-27 Funnel Cloud over Clara - by Aidan Forrest - taken from Scartaglin
There’s one other very good photo taken from Scartaglin as the funnel was dropping down (time 17:17) by Aidan Forrest on Facebook (note that the funnel goes right to the top of the photo). Taken about 13 miles away with a long lens camera.
2014-04-27 Rainfall Radar at the time of the Funnel Cloud - from netweather
Rainfall Radar at 17:05 & 17:15 by Irish Weather Online
Animation of the Rainfall the time. Watch the centre of the screen at 17:15 and 17:30
Animation of the Rainfall the time. Watch the centre of the screen at 17:15 and 17:30
2014-04-27 Probable Path of the Funnel Cloud
From the photos, radar and talking to people, this is what I can make out as the probable path of the storm
2014-04-27 Oissine Moore took this photo of the marble sized hailstone at Kilmeedy at 5.11pm
Picture taken of the large hail stones at 17:11 on Sunday 27th of April at Kilmeedy just under Clara by Oissine Moore (note the size of the hail on the bucket in the foreground) … see t he short video below too




People who experienced it:

Kieran in Rathduane:  The sun was shining and then out of nowhere thunder and hailstone appeared. I never knew it was an actual funnel until i saw the pics there but there was unreal thunder for about 15 minutes, and about 5 or 6 flashes of lightning … The hailstones were huge.

Mary Lane: “the funnel didn’t reach the ground thank god … It was up over Clara mountain we were watching from the front there was fork lightning and sheet lightning”

Sue from Amazing Beads (Kilmeedy, near the top of the Bealach … very close to where we think it passed):  It was weird. We had a beautiful sunny day and then it went dark and we heard thunder, and then we had thunder and lightening and it got really windy. Then all of a sudden hailstones the size of marbles started falling. It lasted quite a long time and the noise was horrendous. There were so many hailstones that it looked as though we were covered in snow. Then water started pouring onto the land from the mountains and huge rivulets were made into the gravel at the front of the house and the stream filled up. The strangest thing we noted was that this all happened in the space of about 10 minutes. We had no idea that it was the funnel of a tornado passing so close. We just thought it was hailstones – very big ones. We had visitors at the time, and the lad took some photo’s of the hailstones. Wow! Hurricane the other month – tornado on Sunday. Kilmeedy is experiencing some freakish weather lately!  [check out their Amazing Beads website or their facebook page ]

Me (the author): we were arriving at Millstreet Country Park (about 4 miles from the storm) and while driving we were wondering what the noise was, we could hear the thunder from inside the moving car, it was that loud. The thunder just kept coming from the big black storm clouds over Clara. Lots of flashes of lightening too, but we couldn’t see forks because it was all happening on the other side of the mountain. Then directly over Clara i made out what I thought looked like a funnel, hard to make out at first but then becoming clearer. The rain was probably clearing from my line of view at that stage, but i thought it unusually big. It seemed fairly straight from the top down. My wife had been taking some photos of the children at the fountain beside the main building and told her to turn the camera to Clara. She took lots of photos of it for the next two minutes as the funnel became better defined, but then hit the mountains, turned sideways, and slowly disappeared back up into the clouds … but I was still unsure it was a funnel … until i saw the photos. Aleksandra’s photo is on top above.

Later in the evening, I asked through the Facebook Page if anyone had seen what I thought was a funnel, and people started reporting back their sightings [see the responses].

… and of course on twitter:



External References:

On Irish Weather Online, Áine’s photo was highlighted with the comment: “Aine O’Neill captured what appears to be a well defined funnel cloud (or ‘Tuba’) in Millstreet, Cork earlier today. Thanks for sharing with us Aine

Also on Irish Weather Online, Aleksandra’s photo was highlighted, with the comment: “Another great capture of that funnel cloud in Cork today… Who needs big US style weather when we have similar skyscapes here! Many thanks for sharing this image with us.

“Another detailed look at the impressive funnel cloud over Millstreet Co . Cork yesterday. Thanks to all for the photos and reports yesterday.This funnel cloud was probably induced by local terrain causing sudden uplift of a parcel of air. No evidence yet of it actually touching down , so cannot be defined as a tornado.” – Irish Weather Online


2014-04-28 Ola's photo was shown on the RTÉ Weather last night
Aleksandra’s photo was shown on the RTÉ Weather after the Nine News (28th April)
Funnel Cloud - by Siobhain Cronin on had an article on April 30th with a photo from Siobhain Cronin (Cloghoulabeg)


Many thanks to all those that have given us their photos and information on this extraordinary weather event in Millstreet, but please if you have more, let us know by leaving a comment below, or by email: contact@


Tornadoes are a rare occurrence in Ireland, but thanks be to God they rarely do much damage … unlike what happened in Arkansaw yesterday , the same day  as our mini tornado, 18+ people were killed when monster tornadoes broke out across the american mid-west 🙁

… but it’s our  second time photographing one in Ireland … the last one was on Achill Island when we were on holidays in July 2010 – Michael (see it here on youTube)



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