Met Éireann says it happens “when the ground is heated up very quickly”

The ongoing heatwave has seen an explosion in visitor numbers at Irish beaches in recent weeks - but this week saw a rather unusual caller to our shores.

A swirling wind tore through Sligo’s Rosses Point beach on Tuesday, leaving buckets, spades and boogie boards flailing in its wake.

A video of the phenomenon, captured by tourist Gary McAuley and posted online by Facebook user Imelda Ryan-Jones, shows families battling to keep control of their possessions as the wind makes landfall.

Ms Ryan-Jones said she was enjoying the sun when a “mini sand tornado was suddenly happening beside me with little buckets & spades swirling up in the air.”

“Next moment I’m surrounded by swirling sand, all over me, on my face and everywhere.”

Met Éireann Forecaster Deirdre Lowe said the twister is known as a “dust devil.”

“It happens when the ground is heated up very quickly, especially after a prolonged warm dry spell,” she said.

“Parts of the ground heat up more quickly than others and a circulation happens above the ground - similar to the way sea breezes form.”

Met Éireann has said that temperatures are set to increase again in the coming days and early next week.