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Rare funnel clouds spotted amid week of storms and flooding

A funnel cloud over Grantham, Lincolnshire, on Wednesday (@loki_weather/Twitter/PA)
A funnel cloud over Grantham, Lincolnshire, on Wednesday (@loki_weather/Twitter/PA)

Rare funnel clouds have been spotted after days of thunderstorms across the country.

Also known as tuba, the cone-shaped formations form when a rotating column of wind draws in droplets from the base of storm clouds, according to the Met Office.

It is the same process by which tornadoes form, but funnel clouds only become a tornado if they reach the earth, or become known as a waterspout if they reach a body of water.

Matthew Whitelocks, 46, a part-time firefighter for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, posted pictures and a video on Twitter after seeing a funnel cloud for the first time over his home in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

He told the PA news agency: “I have seen clouds rotating, as if they are attempting to become funnel clouds but haven’t actually formed into one.

“It was fascinating to watch the funnel, extend and narrow towards the ground.

“There wasn’t any sound and the air was surprisingly still.”

Mr Whitelocks runs a Twitter page called skys of the UK with his 11-year-old son Kaelan.

“Kaelan is fascinated with all types of weather and has been waiting and hoping to see a funnel cloud or tornado for as I can remember,” Mr Whitelocks added.

“I’m guessing I have passed on my enthusiasm for the weather.

“I grew up on farm in the same area and obviously the weather was part of daily life.”

Funnel clouds predominantly form from cumulonimbus clouds and are usually associated with heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightning, according to the Met Office.

The sightings come after heavy rain led to flash flooding in some areas on Wednesday, with a major incident declared in Somerset.