Tornado reported during storm in Oxfordshire

  • 8 May 2012
  • From the section Oxford
Media captionForecasters said the storm was caused by a supercell storm, which is rarely seen in the UK

A tornado has been reported in parts of Oxfordshire during a storm which caused damage to trees and roof tiles.

It was spotted in several places, including Bicester, Eynsham, Kidlington and South Leigh, on Monday afternoon.

Large hailstones were also reported during the storm, which is thought to have started in Wiltshire and moved to Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

One forecaster said it was almost certainly a tornado, thought to have been caused by a special kind of storm.

Brendan Jones, from Meteogroup, said: "At the moment it's difficult to say exactly where the tornado was because while the parent thunderstorm travelled all the way across the south Midlands, it wasn't necessarily producing a tornado all the time.

Image caption A tree was felled in Kidlington by the storm

"There has been more than one report of a tornado beneath this storm. There has also been some quite big hailstones."

He said it was likely the storm was a "supercell" thunderstorm, when the air spins or rotates, which is not often seen in the UK.

Eyewitness Dave Ewart, from Kidlington, said: "I was at home when I noticed heavy dark clouds forming, then hail then - very suddenly - extremely high winds.

"I saw my car bouncing up and down on its suspension - which is very unusual. And then we spotted spinning clouds."

'Freak hailstorm'

Richard Glazer, 40, drove through it with his wife and son on the A34 near Kidlington.

He said: "It was very wet, we were just driving on the A34 and looked up and realised one part of the sky was moving in one direction and another in the opposite direction.

"I thought, 'that looks like a tornado'. We pretty much drove through it, we were right underneath it.

"As we drove into it the trees were blowing left to right and as we got through it they were blowing the other way."

Jo Cotterill, from Kidlington, said: "At about 4pm this afternoon we had a freak hailstorm, lasting about two minutes, along with massive gusts of wind that damaged streetlights, roof tiles and trees."

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