Tornado Rips Through British Town
Dramatic photos show the aftermath of a tornado, which tore through Northampton on Saturday (25 July).
Footage taken from nearby areas shows the funnel shaped force making its way through the town, causing thousands of pounds of damage to homes and gardens.
Debris can be seen being flung into the air, with shocked onlookers fearing for their lives.
It hit the East Midlands town at about 8pm, with high winds and storms battering the area.
Local residents reported tiles being ripped from rooftops, power lines being ripped down and garden furniture and bins being lifted out of gardens.
Joe Minney, a resident of nearby town Moulton, said: "My bathroom window blew open and my blind was ripped out the fixings.
"My bins were blown over and the rubbish chucked up into the air really high.
"You couldn't hear anything but the sheer roar of the wind as the tornado ripped through the back of the house and the allotments
"Luckily we have an eight-foot brick wall surrounding our garden so no fences fell down.
"But it was crazy. The door was open to let a breeze in but never expected a tornado to come past I couldn't physically shut the back door.
"It was all over so quickly maybe 30 seconds or so."
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The Met Office classify it as a tornado when the funnel cloud touches the ground - and as you can see from the video above, that definitely occured.
Other clips show the menacing column moving across fields with dark clouds overhead.
Another Moulton resident Carl Jones, told how allotments were destroyed and power lines torn down.
The 44-year-old added: "It was pretty hair-raising stuff. It has made a right mess of the allotments and some power lines also came down.
"I never thought I'd see a tornado, it was quite a breathtaking thing to see and the noise of the wind was like nothing I've ever heard in my life.
"Our home escaped the worst of it luckily, but I know its caused a fair bit of damage elsewhere."
In a typical year, the UK sees around 30 to 35 tornadoes each year, though it is very rare that are they strong enough to cause any significant damage.
A Met Office spokesman said: "Funnel clouds are cone-shaped clouds which extend from the base of a cloud towards the ground without actually reaching the surface below.
"In the UK they often look like thin dangling bits of rope, hanging from the cloud above. But in hotspots such as tornado alley in the USA, funnel clouds can sometimes be thicker and much more intense.
"The form when a rotating column of wind draws in cloud droplets, making a region of intense low pressure visible.
"They are formed in the same way as a tornado building around this localised area of intensely low pressure and are typically associated with the formation of cumulonimbus thunderclouds.
"If a funnel cloud does make contact with the ground and produce a tornado, very strong winds can be expected in the immediate vicinity of the vortex potentially causing severe damage.
"In a typical year, the UK sees around 30-35 tornadoes each year, though it is very rare that are they strong enough to cause any significant damage."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS