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Last Updated: Tuesday August 22 2006 16:32 GMT

Girl spots 'tornado' in Scotland

Funnel cloud spotted by Jessica, 10

A 10-year-old-girl was shocked to spot 'tornadoes' from her garden during stormy weather in Scotland on Monday.

Jessica, 10, emailed the BBC with a photograph showing the huge funnel cloud hovering above her house.

The cloud was one of several whipped up by warm rainy weather conditions in the UK over the past week.

BBC Weather presenter Helen Willets said: "We get about 30 or 40 tornados reported every year in the UK - more per square kilometre than in the US."

"But they are nowhere near as powerful!" she told Newsround


Jessica, from Perthshire, said: "It was a big black cloud coming right down to us from the sky. It was a bit scary - we were wondering if it would hit the ground."

Funnel clouds become official tornadoes when they touch the ground and it's not clear if the ones Jessica saw ever got that close.

Tornadoes form when a warm wind meets a cold one and this is most likely to happen in the UK during the summertime.