Met Office say tornadoes ‘not out of the question’ as wind and rain batter the UK

Parts of the UK may have seen tornadoes on Sunday, the Met Office said, as strong winds and rain hit the country.

Gusts in excess of 80 miles per hour have been recorded with reports of wind damage that can cause travel disruptions.

There are yellow wind and rain warnings across much of the west and elsewhere, and more are likely.

Meteorologist Tom Morgan said the Met Office could not confirm tornadoes but would not rule them out.

“We have a deep Atlantic depression that brings very strong bands of rain and gusty winds all over the country, but particularly in southern England,” he said.

“We saw some very strong gusts of wind on the south coast … and some reports of wind damage.

“It cannot be ruled out that there were local, short funnel clouds or tornadoes.

“In the past few days we’ve seen some reports and photos of funnel clouds and gargoyles that look like tornadoes.”

Tornadoes occur when funnel clouds extend from the cloud base to the ground, Morgan said.

He added that winds of 87 miles per hour were recorded at an exposed location on the Isle of Portland in Dorset and that there were gusts of 60 miles per hour in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex.

“We cannot confirm tornadoes have occurred, but we have seen reports of wind damage,” added Mr Morgan.

“This type of situation lends itself to producing tornadoes at times, so we cannot rule it out, and there is some evidence that it did exist.”

Northamptonshire Police said they had received a large number of calls regarding weather conditions and that trees had fallen on numerous roads in the county.

Reverend Richard Coles, Vicar of Finedon, took to social media after a heavy phone call.

“We were just praying for the COP26 conference at church when we were hit by what I can only call a tornado that destroyed a number of trees, including this pre-conquest yew,” he tweeted.

South Western Railway apologized to customers after trees blocked part of the network, saying there could be outages, delays and changes in services.

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