Funnel clouds reported across the region in turbulent weather

A funnel cloud over Mildenhall. Picture: Ian Cox AIUK

A funnel cloud over Mildenhall. Picture: Ian Cox AIUK - Credit: Archant

Funnel clouds - the infants of full scale tornados - have been reported across the region today.

A funnel cloud was seen off the coast of Cromer on Saturday. Picture: Philip Knowles

A funnel cloud was seen off the coast of Cromer on Saturday. Picture: Philip Knowles - Credit: Archant

One was spotted by Ian Cox of Atmospheric Instability UK around Mildenhall shortly after 1pm.

James Wilby of Weatherquest said the funnels were 'not unusual' for this time of year.

'If it were to reach the ground it would then be a tornado,' he explained. 'It is not that unusual for this type of weather when you have got showers and turbulence in the atmosphere.

'In this county they are generally fairly weak if they reach the ground as tornados. Occasionally they will develop into more pronounced tornados but they are quite rare.'

A funnel cloud was seen off the coast of Cromer on Saturday. Picture: Philip Knowles

A funnel cloud was seen off the coast of Cromer on Saturday. Picture: Philip Knowles - Credit: Archant


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On Saturday people in Cromer also reported seeing a funnel-shaped cloud forming off the coast of Cromer after a day of unsettled weather.

The funnel cloud was seen from West Runton at around 6pm but it has not been confirmed whether it touched the sea, which would make it a waterspout.

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'We've not been able to confirm if this was a waterspout as we don't know if the funnel touched the sea but you can clearly see if developing from the sky downwards,' said Mr Wilby.

'If it did touch the sea then this would be a waterspout which is basically a traditional tornado over the sea instead of over land.'

Weatherquest's James Wilby. Picture: James Wilby

Weatherquest's James Wilby. Picture: James Wilby - Credit: Archant

Current weather forecasts indicate that more funnel clouds may form across the region on today as the unsettled weather is set to continue and more showers are expected to be heading to North Norfolk from Lincolnshire.

Mr Wilby added that occasionally tornados do form over the land in the Norfolk region but said they aren't very common and they don't tend to cause too much damage.

'We don't get anything like what you would see in somewhere like America which would rip up roads and houses,' he said. 'Probably the worst we've seen in the country recently is in Birmingham in 2005.'

The Birmingham tornado occurred in July 2005 and was one of the strongest tornadoes recorded in the United Kingdom in nearly 30 years. It damaged a number of buildings and left 19 people injured.

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