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Tornadoes sighted over Burscough; The funnel cloud.

HIGH-ALTITUDE tornadoes whipped across Merseyside and Lancashire yesterday afternoon.

Stormy weather over the weekend created the freakish conditions that led to a "funnel cloud" forming in the sky in the Burscough and Southport area.

The meteorological phenomenon, which is a tornado that does not touch the ground, was sighted at about 2.30pm.

The Met Office regards funnel clouds as potentially dangerous should they ever touch down.

Roofs, trees and more or less any loose object can be ripped up or severely damaged.

Funnel clouds are formed when powerful storms and thunderstorms meet, causing wind to blow in different directions.

In this country, they tend to be masked by rain, making them very difficult to spot, but yesterday's unusual example formed under a cloud that had not begun to rain. It appears that the cloud did not touch down this time, as Police and Fire Services have not received any reports of damage caused by the funnel shaped cloud.

A Met Office spokesman said: "We have about 30 to 40 touchdown tornadoes a year in the UK.

"However, because the cloud base was either too high or too weak it couldn't touch the ground, so it just hung there in suspension."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 7, 2008
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