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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 August 2006, 19:22 GMT 20:22 UK
Tornado seen in Midlands' skies
Tornado (pic Neil Marshall)
The tornado appeared to touch down, according to one witness
A tornado has been spotted over parts of Warwickshire during freak thunderstorms in the area.

The funnel cloud was spotted during the evening rush hour on Thursday as torrential rain swept in.

Eye witnesses said the tornado lasted a number of minutes and appeared to finish in countryside near Warwick and Leamington Spa.

Warwickshire Fire Service said there had been no reports of damage following the storms, only localised flooding.

I didn't expect to see that when I got home
Nicky Stalker

Nicky Stalker, who watched the storm in Leamington, said: "It lasted about two minutes before drawing up in to itself. It was pretty amazing to witness.

"I am an air traffic controller at Birmingham airport and was working this morning.

"We watched the bad weather approaching on the radar picture and so I knew it was going to be bad this afternoon, but I didn't expect to see that when I got home."

A tornado is a violent rotating column of air that reaches to the ground from a storm cloud.

Tornado (pic: Nicky Stalker)
The tornado was seen near homes in Leamington (pic: Nicky Stalker)

Another witness, Neil Marshall, 34, from Warwick, spotted the tornado near the village of Harbury.

"There was all this torrential rain and I was driving along the Fosse Way. I got stuck behind a truck and I managed to get some photos with my phone.

"It is the first time I have ever seen a tornado. It was very exciting."

A Met Office spokesman said the region had experienced the right kind of weather to produce a tornado.

"They are more common than people think but they are not like the American ones we see on the TV.

"The damage we had in Birmingham last year was fairly unusual. We get small ones and we get more than people realise because often they are not seen.

"Many just touch down briefly in a farmer's field and cause no damage."

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