Moment parasols take off in 'whirlwind' at pub in Pickering, North Yorkshire

  • The moment was caught on the pub's CCTV system

Pub-goers in a North Yorkshire village were left bewildered when parasols from their tables suddenly took off in a "whirlwind" during the high temperatures this weekend.

Punters were enjoying their pints in the sun at the White Swan Inn in Newton-on-Rawcliffe near Pickering on Sunday, 14 August, when a sudden gust of wind pulled the umbrellas from their stands and sent them flying through the air.

Footage caught on the pub's CCTV system showed one punter unsuccessfully trying to grab one of the parasols and others running away to avoid being hit by the flying objects.

Landlady Melissa Hornby said: "It was so bizarre. It was baking hot and then suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a huge gust of wind and one of the umbrellas just flew up in the air.

"It was like a whirlwind - I think they call them dust devils. They've had them here before. It just happened out of nowhere. I've never seen anything like it."

One of the parasols was carried across the road and ended up in a pond. No-one was hurt, but one of the umbrellas was damaged. 

One of the parasols ended up in the pond opposite the pub. Credit: White Swan

It happened as temperatures in Pickering reached a high of 31C, leading to an amber warning for heat being issued by the Met Office late last week.

Friction, atmospheric pressure and air warming are all contributing factors to sudden bursts of wind.

It is likely the "whirlwind" occurred as the sun heated up the ground which made the surface layer of air more buoyant, causing it to rise and react with the cooler air above it, creating a thermal circulation.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.