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‘Tornado’ rips through town smashing glass and sending trees and fences flying

A Devon resident has described the terrifying moment a “tornado” struck in her garden, leaving trees strewn across the road.

Cullompton resident Sherralyne Haynes said the storm appeared with “no warning” and tore through the area with a deafening noise.

It smashed through car windows and greenhouses and ripped up gardens early on Tuesday.

The Met Office posted a satellite picture confirming a tornado was forming near its headquarters in Exeter.

A meteorologist living underneath the building storm filmed the clouds rotating ominously above.

Ms Haynes said the noise of the funnel was nothing like she had ever experienced before.

She said : “We have just experienced what we all think can only be described as a tornado ripping through the Knightswood area of Cullompton.

“There has been lots of damage to gardens, trees, roofs and greenhouses have been completely smashed.”

She said the ordeal lasted for around a minute, but the noise was like ‘nothing she had ever experienced.’

She explained: “Some witnesses watched it out of their windows.

“There was no warning just extremely heavy rain and winds felt stronger than 100mph.”

She added that some residents have had fence panels smash through their car windows.

“It was terrifying, I thought the windows were going to blow through” she said.

Meanwhile, she said no other part of Cullompton seems to have been affected.

She continued: “We literally watched the garden get sucked out through the fence, there’s trees down through the road.

“Everyone was out on the streets, people mending their roofs. You could almost feel the pressure inside the house.”

Earlier this evening, The Met Office confirmed tornados have been forming today.

According to the Met Office a rotating storm cloud is classified as a tornado if its vortex touches the ground.

Its website says: “A funnel cloud usually develops as the vortex forms due to the reduced pressure in the vortex. Strong inflowing winds intensify, and the spin rate increases as the vortex stretches vertically.

“If it continues stretching and intensifying for long enough the vortex touches the ground, at which point it becomes classified as a tornado.

Weather

“The tornado then moves across the surface causing severe damage or destruction to objects in its path.”

“A tornado typically has the form of a twisting funnel-shaped cloud between the cloud base and the ground.

“Sometimes the vortex can appear as a slender rope-like form, particularly when the tornado is weakening; sometimes a tornado can be almost invisible, observable by the debris thrown up from the surface.

“Tornadoes typically spin anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (cyclonically).”