Driffield News

Tornado on the Yorkshire Wolds?

Did a tornado pass through Driffield and the Wolds last month?

Or was this just one of several funnel clouds that were spotted across East Yorkshire on a day that produced torrential rain and even hail in some parts of the region.

The image was taken by Chris Wood at around 4:30pm on 31st May, from High Caythorpe, Rudston, with the ‘twister’ appearing to be over Burton Fleming.

Funnel clouds are cone-shaped cloud formations which extend from the base towards the ground, but never reach it.

In the UK, the Met Office says that they often look like dangling bits of rope, hanging from the cloud above.

Cumulonimbus clouds are almost always the host cloud for which funnel clouds form, meaning heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightning – all of which hit Driffield and the Wolds on that day.

However, a funnel cloud does not reach the earth’s surface. At the point, it becomes a tornado, or if it reaches a body of water, it becomes a waterspout.

A spokesperson for the Met Office told the Wolds Weekly that the image appears to show a funnel cloud

However, it cannot be confirmed whether it was a tornado as there is no proof that the funnel cloud touched the ground.

In a typical year, the UK sees around 30-35 tornadoes, though it is rare that they are strong enough to cause major damage, as they are usually short-lived, small, isolated features.

The UK has the highest frequency of reported tornadoes per unit area in the world, although they are not as intense as those reported in the USA.

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