The Ardrossan Herald received the above pictures apparently showing a mini tornado.

Duncan Meldrum captured the strange images of the ‘twister’ near Beith.

The pictures appear to show a tornado – or its smaller cousin, a ‘dust devil’ – reaching from the clouds and connecting to the Earth and slightly changing shape.

But on closer inspection, it soon becomes clear that the whirlwind is actually an unusual cloud formation.

According to weather sources, funnel – or scud – clouds can be mistaken for tornadoes. 

Tornados are rapidly rotating columns of air that are in contact with both the surface of the ground and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. 

They most commonly occur in the United States.