Scary Sight: Funnel Cloud Forms as Plane Takes Off
The United Kingdom is home to many things: Proper tea, well-made automobiles and the perpetual need for rain boots. But, tornadoes aren’t exactly something most people would associate with the island nation. That said, one photographer captured a stunning image of funnel cloud behind an airplane departing from East Midlands Airport on August 14, 2014. The airport, which is located in the central part of the country, was buffeted by gusty winds and heavy rains earlier in the week.
On average the United Kingdom only sees about 30 tornadoes per year, a fraction of the 1,000 tornado-per-year-average in the United States. And even though they’re generally weak, some have done significant damage. The 2005 Birmingham (UK) tornado, which was rated a “strong tornado,” cut a 12-kilometer path of destruction through parts of the city.
What Caused This Funnel Cloud?
As mentioned above, tornadoes aren’t terribly common in the United Kingdom. But what caused this tornado? In a word: Bertha. Rather, it was an effect of the remnants of Hurricane Bertha slamming into Britain. Yeah, that Bertha. After becoming extra-topical — during the first week of August — Bertha meandered across the North Atlantic, eventually getting caught up in the northern branch of the jet stream and rocketed eastward.
Bertha brought pelting rain, gusty winds and deary conditions to the U.K., for much of the week. According the Guardian, a London-based newspaper, upward of two inches of rain fell in parts of the Shetland Islands — off the coast of Scotland. More than 50-mph wind gusts were also recorded in parts of the country.
Images on social media show some flooding for parts of London and the surrounding areas. Below are some of the pictures we found.
That said, Bertha quickly screamed across Scandinavia and is now no longer an issue for storm-weary Britons.
— Adeline Tye (@adelinekeirle) August 14, 2014
— ♥ G ☆ (@georgia_oliver) August 14, 2014
— Mhairi Macfarlane (@HarrowEditor) August 15, 2014
Meteorologist Alan Raymond