Mini tornado hits Manchester area

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A miniature tornado has swept through Greater Manchester, damaging buildings and cars and leaving debris strewn in its wake.

The tornado hit areas around Manchester Airport to the south of the city centre at around 5pm on Friday.

Dan Teasdale tweeted some footage of the swirling cloud over the Tatton Park Flower Show.

Elsewhere, Martin Kevill, 32, tweeted some footage of an uprooted tree in Cheshire with the words “Erm there’s been a tornado in #Mobberley.”

Mr Kevill, who works in the creative industries, told PA the tornado hit the small village at around 4.45pm.

“We were in the pub over the road and heard some pretty abnormal gusts. The pub rumbled and we ran outside to see what it was.

“The road was pitch black and it was really dark.”

He continued: “When the gusts passed, a tree ripped up and fell over into a field of llamas.

“Then after a moment or two, the clouds moved along and it was actually quite clear again apart from the rain.

“I think a tree went over the train line a few metres away. The llamas are fine but there’s a valley of horrific building damage through the area.”

Mr Kevill said there had been no warning about what was coming, but that the rain had been lashing down for about an hour before the tornado hit.

The Met Office posted data from Manchester Airport, saying: “Not very often an airport reports a funnel cloud by @manairport’s earlier observation reported ‘FC’ with heavy showers.”

Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst told PA the ingredients needed for a tornado are unstable air through stormy conditions and “wind shear”.

Wind shear is air travelling in different directions at different heights in the atmosphere.

“Those ingredients were there at the right time across the Manchester area this afternoon,” he said.

It is known as a funnel cloud until it touches the ground and causes damage.

The UK normally sees between 30 and 50 a year.

Bruce Moran posted a picture of a car with a crumpled bumper and a sheet of metal lodged in someone’s front garden.

He wrote: “Yup. True Story. Tiles, roofs, trees … smashed cars. Seemingly a five minute torrent of madness.”

Rebecca Jeffery was in Stamford Park in Hale with her children, aged six and one, when the tornado hit.

Ms Jeffery told PA: “The water running down the terraced roads was so deep I couldn’t go through it and then suddenly there was a huge gust of wind.

“I turned the pram away from the wind and grabbed my six-year-old and then we stood as the wind went crazy and metal  and wood swirled through the air above the houses.”

She continued:  “My son says I just shouted ‘stay beside me’ over and over again as I was panicking he’d get blown away.

“I’ve never seen trees move like that.

“I saw the tree branches fall down behind us and then suddenly it was all gone again. It was surreal.”

In 2005, one of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded in the UK hit Birmingham, carving a 7km path of destruction through the suburbs of the city.

It uprooted around 1,000 trees, lifted the roofs from buildings and overturned cars but miraculously no-one was killed.

Nineteen people were injured however, three of them seriously.

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