Leeds & West Yorkshire

Yorkshire sees bizarre weather patterns

Funnel cloud at Wakefield
Image caption A funnel cloud was seen in Yorkshire on Sunday

Yorkshire experienced some pretty lively weather on Sunday with heavy showers and thunderstorms rotating around an area of low pressure bringing torrential downpours, flash flooding and funnel clouds.

Only when a funnel cloud extends downwards to make contact with the ground is it called a tornado.

Tornadoes are associated with large thunderstorm clouds called Cumulonimbus clouds.

They are narrow spinning columns of air but how the column of air begins to rotate is not fully-understood by scientists.

It appears to happen when winds blow at different speeds at different heights causing an horizontal rotating column.

Tornadoes are not uncommon in the UK.

It is claimed the UK gets more tornadoes per square kilometre than the USA (but not more in total).

Thankfully, those in the UK are generally much weaker than those in the USA.

In the UK, there are an average of around 30 tornadoes reported each year.

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