1. ITV Report

Have tornadoes been seen in the UK? Don't be fooled

Tornado over Glasgow at weekend Photo: David Woods

There have been a few reports of funnel clouds in the last few days.

These two were spotted in Hinckley, Leicestershire and in Skegness, Lincolnshire:

Although they look similar, they are to be confused with a tornado. A funnel cloud is a column of cloud, extending from the sky towards the ground. This contains a narrow, damaging rotating column of air or wind.

If this extended area of cloud actually reaches the ground, it becomes a tornado.

Damage to houses in Alder Street, Sparkbrook in Birmingham after a tornado in 2005 Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Both funnel clouds and tornadoes tend to form where thunderstorms develop - where the upper air is unstable. There has been particularly lively weather since the weekend, with intense thundery downpours across parts of the North East - perfect conditions for funnel clouds to develop.

Tornadoes are not unheard of in the UK. In 2006, a tornado swept through North London. The year before, a suburb of Birmingham was subjected to the strongest tornado the UK has seen for nearly 30 years.