Tornado-shaped funnel cloud spotted in the sky over Cornwall

Pictures taken today show a cloud in the shape of a tornado forming just off the coast of Cornwall.

The cloud was pictured from Marazion, near Penzance, at 2.45pm this afternoon.

Although they’re often confused with tornadoes and are actually formed the same way, funnel clouds are a bit different.

The Met Office explains that while funnel clouds reach towards the ground, they never touch it. Those which do become tornados.

“A funnel cloud is a cone-shaped cloud which extends from the base of a cloud towards the ground without actually reaching the surface,” the weather service says.

“In the UK they often look like thin dangling bits of rope, hanging from the cloud above.

Funnel cloud seen from Marazion
(Image: Tracey Lambert)

“But in hotspots such as tornado alley in the USA, funnel clouds can sometimes be thicker and much more intense.

“They are formed in the same way as a tornado building around this localised area of intensely low pressure and are typically associated with the formation of cumulonimbus thunderclouds.

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“Crucially, a funnel cloud does not reach the earth’s surface, at the point it reaches land it becomes a tornado, or if it reaches a body of water it becomes a waterspout.

“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.”

Cornwall Live