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WATCH: Mini-twister hits Wigan

Photo:

This is the moment a twister was spotted high in the skies over Wigan . Footage shows the phenomenon as it formed over Billinge Hill.

It was captured on camera by Joanne Tolley Cottom who described it as ‘the weirdest moment ever’.

She recorded the video from her salon, The Haus of Hair on Miry Lane Industrial Estate, on Tuesday afternoon, and says it was followed afterwards by around 30 minutes of horrendous wind and rain.

Joanne said:

There were two of them that tried to form, me and my client couldn’t believe our eyes – I didn’t think we got them in this country.

After about 20-30 minutes there was horrendous wind and rain over the salon. The rain was so heavy it even set car alarms off.

– oanne Tolley Cottom

A spokesman for the Met Office examined the footage and confirmed the formation was in fact a funnel cloud – which is the same as a tornado, it just doesn’t reach the ground.

They explained:

A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air that reaches from the base of a storm cloud to the ground. They happen in unsettled weather conditions, usually as part of thunderstorms.“If the rotating column of air does not reach the ground it is a funnel cloud.

At the point a funnel cloud reaches the earth’s surface it becomes a tornado, or if it reaches a body of water it becomes a waterspout.”They added:

In a typical year the UK sees around 30-35 tornadoes each year, though it is very rare that are they strong enough to cause any significant damage, they are much smaller features than you see in the United States.

– Met Office

According to the Met Office, tornadoes occur across the globe, but are seen most often in North America.

The most violent tornadoes are rarely seen anywhere but the USA, Canada and Bangladesh.“Tornado Alley’, a region of Central USA, is particularly prone to violent tornado outbreaks and is susceptible to large, long-lived tornadoes.

In the spring and summer, warm air from the Gulf of Mexico meets cool air from Canada in this region, and this leads to the formation of powerful storms known as supercells that, if the conditions are right, can spawn tornadoes.

– Met Office

In 2004, there were 1820 tornadoes in the USA – the most ever in a single year.