Tornado sweeps through Devon


Blackleaf
#1
Forget Tornado Alley. If you want to see twisters, come to Britain. Britain has more tornadoes per square kilometre than any country in the world. They are just smaller and less destructive than their cousins in the American Midwest.

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Tornado sweeps through Devon
27th June 2006



Britain's weird weather took a sinister twist - when a tornado swooped across a popular beauty spot.

Freak conditions created a "twister" which hovered over Dartmoor National Park in Devon for 15 minutes in front of stunned ramblers.

The awe-inspiring sight was captured on film by local man John Batenear in Yelverton at around 4.30pm on Sunday.

After slowly making its way across the skyline, the tornado morphed from a thick funnel into a narrow column - speeding across the green moorland.

But luckily the twister did not damage any buildings.

Boat designer John, 35, said he grabbed his camera - which he only bought the day before - after seeing the twister while on a golf course with his six-year-old son, Isaac.

John, of Plymouth, Devon, said: "We were playing a bit of pitch and putt when Isaac said he could see something in the sky.

"There was quite a lot of cloud about and the air was still and this tube just started to form in front of us.

"We were both astonished - it looked amazing. We weren't scared, it didn't look like something that would start ripping up barns. It was just beautiful, a natural phenomenon right in front of us.

"It hung in the sky for about 15 minutes and then just fell apart. The whole thing was dramatic and an amazing moment for me and my son. "The funny thing is I only bought the camera on Saturday to take some pictures of Isaac playing golf. He's a bit of a budding Tiger Woods."

Ben Clayton, landlord of the nearby Burrator Inn in Yelverton, saw the twister at about 4.35pm.

He said: "I'd never seen anything like it before. The sky suddenly went dark and grey but it didn't look violent enough to cause any harm."

A spokesman for Devon Fire and Rescue Service said they had received no calls about the tornado or any damage.

Andrew Sibley from the Met Office said the twister was created by winds acting "like water going down a plug hole".

He said: "For this to occur there is a need for the wind to veer and increase with height. "These conditions were in evidence on Dartmoor on Sunday, with a good area of low level convergence.

"As air is lifted and rotates it spins closer together and increases the vorticity [a measure of the spin of an air mass].

"It's a bit like water going down a plug hole, or if you spin an office chair with your legs out. If you bring your legs in you will spin faster."

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Jersay
#2
Cool.
 
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