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'Tornado' photographed over Ashbourne

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: August 08, 2012

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A TORNADO has been captured on camera by a News Telegraph reader during the weekend’s summer storms.

John Baby photographed this dramatic cloud formation, known as a funnel cloud, from Bunster Hill as it became a small tornado and swirled around the west side of Ashbourne.

He said: “One small twister formed for a short while then decayed. A few minutes later this second twister formed and became quite distinct for quite some time.” A spokesman for national weather centre the Met Office said the formation in the picture was “definitely a funnel cloud” — a fairly common storm phenomenon which can occasionally form into tornadoes in the right conditions.

The spokesman added: “The hill in the cloud makes it hard to tell, but it looks like it may have almost reached the ground, which would class it as a tornado.

“The weather conditions required for the formation of a funnel cloud usually have to be showery, so a day when heavy showers or thunderstorms occur, like we had on Sunday.

“Funnel clouds are caused by the up and down draughts that can occur within deep shower clouds called Cumulonimbus clouds.

“Certain conditions can lead to the rotation of the cloud at its base sometimes a funnel cloud appears.

“Funnel clouds can occur if the right conditions are in place and although are not a sight you see very often, they do happen from time to time.

“In fact, tornadoes are not that common but they are a part of the UK climate, where between 30 and 40 are reported on average each year.”

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