Tornadoes may be responsible for weekend weather chaos

31 October 2021, 15:44 | Updated: 31 October 2021, 15:46

Pictures of extreme weather have emerged from around the UK, including on UK coasts.
Pictures of extreme weather have emerged from around the UK, including on UK coasts. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Parts of the UK may have been hit by tornadoes on Sunday, the Met Office said, as the UK was battered by rain and strong winds that reached 80mph.

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There are reports of wind damage across the country with strong gusts causing travel chaos in London as hundreds of people were left stranded at Euston station after fallen trees caused all trains to be suspended.

Images emerged on social media of packed train stations as dozens of services were delayed or cancelled.

The travel chaos came as hundreds were planning to travel to Scotland to attend the Cop26 climate summit.

The chaos left attendees forced to book flights from London to Glasgow instead.

The delays were caused by damaged overhead wires between Rugby and Milton Keynes on the West Coast Main Line.

Meanwhile Avanti West Coast has advised its customers not to travel on services heading north of London.

South Western Railway separately apologised to customers after trees blocked part of the network and said there may be cancellations, delays and alterations to services.

Read more: Heavy rain deluges UK with warnings in place and more flooding expected

Yellow warnings for wind and rain are in place over large parts of the UK, and more are likely.

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Meteorologist Tom Morgan from the Met Office did not rule out the possibility of tornadoes having hit the country this morning.

"We've got a deep Atlantic area of low pressure that's bringing a very heavy band of rain and squalling winds across the whole of the country, but particularly in the south of England," he said.

"It's not out of the question that there will have been some localised, brief funnel clouds or tornadoes.

Read more: 'Cop26 is the last hope to save our precious planet' as UK takes centre stage

"In the last couple of days we have seen some reports and seen some photos of funnel clouds and water spouts, which are similar to tornadoes."

Mr Morgan said wind speeds of 87mph were recorded at an exposed location on the Isle of Portland in Dorset with winds reaching 60mph across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex.

Northamptonshire Police tweeted: "Northamptonshire Police are currently receiving a high number of calls due to the adverse weather conditions (especially with trees falling blocking roads etc.).

"At this busy time please only call 999 in an emergency."

Reverend Richard Coles, comedian and vicar of Finedon, wrote on social media: "We were just praying for the COP26 conference in church when we were hit by what I can only describe as a tornado, which took out a number of trees including this pre Conquest yew."