Waterspout off Timaru coast stuns locals

Locals in Timaru were stunned to see a waterspout gliding across the ocean on Saturday morning. 

Andrew, a resident of the south Canterbury town, told Newshub he spotted it to the east of Washdyke, off the coast, as he drove past about 8:30am.

Waterspouts are similar to tornadoes but they only happen over bodies of water like lakes or the ocean. 

They normally form when cold air moves across warm waters and tend to last up to 20 minutes. 

Te Ratonga Tirorangi/MetService said the "tempestuous view" was caused by an offshore thunderstorm on its way out to sea. 

Six funnels reportedly formed.

As for the weather in Timaru, it's unusually cold there on Saturday with southerly winds - forecast to hit a high of 17C and a chilly low of just 5C overnight. 

In comparison, on Monday it'll heat up to a toasty 29C with a low of 17C.