Wales

Tornado and lightning bolt hit homes as Wales battered

  • 14 January 2015
  • From the section Wales
Media captionTwo people were taken to hospital with shock after the whirlwind hit

A tornado has hit 24 homes and a bolt of lightning has struck two properties as severe weather battered Wales overnight.

The whirlwind hit Haverfordwest at about 19:00 GMT on Tuesday and ripped sections of roof off six properties and two people have been taken to hospital.

The Met Office has since issued a further severe weather warning for Wednesday and Thursday.

Heavy rainfall, gale force winds and localised flooding are all expected.

Meanwhile, lightning damaged a chimney and left a hole in the roof of two homes in the Vale of Glamorgan on Tuesday evening.

Following snow, a number of schools have also been closed across Wales.

And there have been a number of accidents with four people taken to hospital.

Philip Griffiths, a resident of the street where the tornado hit told BBC Wales he was "terrified" and thought his house was "coming in".

"It was like a train coming through the house. I ended up in local A&E because my heart rate was sky high," he said.

Image caption Philip Griffiths said it was like "a train coming through the house" when the tornado hit

Another resident, Paula Barnes, said: "There was this huge loud roar - like a roaring lion - and the windows in the house started shaking and so we scooped by daughter up and stood in the centre of the house away from the windows, looked out the back window and everything just went flying past the window and with an almighty bang."

Media captionThe tornado was '30 seconds of pure hell' a resident said

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to Windway Lane, Llanbethery, near St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan at 04:30 GMT following the lightning strike and a man was given oxygen by firefighters after his home filled with smoke.

And in Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf, giant hailstones set off car alarms during a thunder storm.

Image caption Philip Griffiths shed roof in Scotchwell Viewl landed in his neighbour's back yard
Image caption Giant hailstones set off car alarms in Aberdare on Tuesday evening

The overnight weather has been called thunder snow.

A rare phenomenon, thunder snow can happen where air is unstable and the layer close to the ground is warmer than those above, but still cold enough to create snow.

When thunder snow occurs at night the lightning seems brighter - this is because the lightning reflects off the snowflakes.

People have been advised to take care on the roads on Wednesday after the icy conditions forced a number of roads to close and saw a series of car accidents.

Meanwhile, school closures have been announced in Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Powys.

Image caption A firefighter inspects roof damage to a single-story utility unit in Haverfordwest
Media captionHeavy rainfall and strong winds are forecast for Wednesday

The Met Office had a yellow "be aware" warning for snow and ice in place for much of Wales until midday.

A band of heavy rain is then due to move in bringing the risk of standing water and localised flooding.

On Tuesday, the heaviest snow fell in mid, north and west Wales for much of the day, forcing a number of schools to close.

Image caption A blanket of snow covers Merthyr Tydfil
Image caption The land lies covered in snow in Rhymney
Image caption Brecon is blanketed with snow
Image caption Another view of the snow-filled field of Brecon
Image caption Winter wonderland: Snow fell heavily over Abertillery and Cwmtillery

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