'Tornado' hovering over Clevedon captured on camera by couple
PEOPLE in North Somerset spotted this unusual cloud forming in the skies.
The Met Office believes that the sight captured by Nailsea residents Grete and David Howard at about 6.45pm on Wednesday was a funnel cloud. Initially they thought it was a waterspout, but checks with the Met Office revealed it is more likely to be a funnel cloud.
Andrea Dickens, of Clevedon, spotted the funnel while walking along Strode Road.
She said: "When I heard my partner say 'tornado', my instant reaction was to dismiss it as something else, but when I looked at it, it was undeniably a tornado funnel. It was close to the channel, in the Portishead direction. We watched it for about 10-15 minutes.
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"We also watched as the funnel slowly disappeared, starting from the rooftops and heading upwards, and then finally the large part of the funnel at the top near the clouds lingered and then broke apart.
"Only a minute or so afterwards we saw a second funnel, almost as large at the base, start to form near where the first one dissipated."
A spokesman for the Met Office said: "It's difficult to tell if the pictures are of a waterspout, but they definitely show a funnel cloud.
"Funnel clouds are formed when the weather is 'unstable' and showery, the very conditions we saw in the Bristol area on Wednesday.
"Tornadoes are narrow, spinning columns of air that reach the ground from cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds. As they develop we often see funnel shaped clouds extending from the base of the cloud and it is only when these funnel clouds touch the ground that we get a tornado.
"If the funnel cloud touches down at sea we get a waterspout."