‘Tor­nado’ seen dur­ing storm

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VIL­LAGERS were left per­plexed when a ‘mini tor­nado’ hit parts of West Lan­cashire.

The North West was hit by thun­der­storms and tor­ren­tial down­pours on Mon­day night af­ter days of un­set­tled weather con­di­tions.

A yel­low thun­der­storm warn­ing cov­ered the whole area as heavy rain of up to 1.6in (40mm) fell within an hour.

But dur­ing the thun­der­storms, what looked like a small tor­nado was seen over ar­eas in­clud­ing Par­bold, Skelmers­dale and Up Hol­land.

Leon Kamel said: “It was amaz­ing wit­ness­ing it first hand, as I’ve never ac­tu­ally seen one in per­son be­fore.”

But while it ap­peared that a mini tor­nado was rag­ing in the skies, the Met Of­fice had a less dra­matic ex­pla­na­tion.

A spokesman said: “This pic­ture has cap­tured a very clear ex­am­ple of a fun­nel cloud.

“These can form at the base of thun­der­storms and they can de­velop into tor­na­does, but they are only of­fi­cially recog­nised as a tor­nado when the tip makes con­tact with the ground.

“With the den­sity of thun­der­storms that we have seen over parts of the UK in re­cent days, it is no sur­prise that we have seen eye­wit­ness ac­counts.

“In the UK we get about 30 tor­na­does each year, on av­er­age, but most are very short­lived and don’t have the de­struc­tive ca­pac­ity of those that form in Tor­nado Alley in the United States.”

What looked like a mini tor­nado came through Par­bold

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