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Phenomenal – funnel cloud caught on camera

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: June 15, 2012

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IT MAY look like something you would see in Tornado Alley, in America's Midwest, but this twister was actually forming over Tintagel.

It was snapped over the North Cornwall coast by local photographer Avian Sandercock, who said the natural wonder had left him astonished.

He captured the funnel cloud off the coast of Bossiney Bay at about 7.30pm on Tuesday. Trenale business-owner Mr Sandercock, 43, told the Cornish Guardian: "I couldn't believe my eyes.

"It was incredible and the sky was strange.

"I've never seen anything like that before. I don't think I was scared, just astonished. I grabbed my camera from the house and rushed out to see it."

The funnel whirled for about ten minutes, he said, during which time it started travelling towards a local holiday park.

"The guests probably paused for thought when that happened," said Mr Sandercock.

"When it started to fade I drove down to see if I could catch it.

"I fancy myself as a bit of a mini-tornado chaser."

Sarah Holland, from the Met Office, said the 'Tornado of Tintagel' was actually a rare funnel cloud that would be called a waterspout if it touched the sea and a tornado if it came into contact with the ground.

"The weather conditions required for the formation of a funnel cloud usually have to be showery, so a day when heavy showers or thunderstorms occur," she explained.

"Funnel clouds are caused by the updraughts and downdraughts that can occur within deep shower clouds called cumulonimbus clouds.

"Certain conditions can lead to the rotation of the cloud at its base and sometimes a funnel cloud appears.

"Funnel clouds can occur if the right conditions are in place and although they're not a sight you see very often, they do happen from time to time.

"Tornadoes aren't that common, but they are a part of the UK climate; between 30 and 40 are reported on average each year."

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