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'Tornado' spotted forming over Gillingham


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A tornado enthusiast says a twister started to form over the Medway Towns this afternoon.

Joe Tayor was picking his sons up from Barnsole Primary School in Gillingham when he noticed a funnel cloud.

The video of the funnel cloud capture this afternoon

The 33-year-old says he looked on as it rotated before it began to slowly descend.

Because it was at a distance, he is unsure how near it came to the ground but estimates it could have been as close as 100 feet.

According to the Met Office, funnel clouds don't usually reach the earth's surface, but if they do they becomes tornadoes.

Full-time carer Joe has been an enthusiast for many years and avidly follows weather websites online.

He has also visited Tornado Alley in America which is renowned for its violent storms which wreak havoc.

Joe Taylor says he saw a tornado forming when he was in Gillingham
Joe Taylor says he saw a tornado forming when he was in Gillingham

In 2005 he was in Joplin, Missouri, when he saw a super storm first hand – with locals fleeing to shelters as sirens sounded.

He managed to video this afternoon's incident before it "fizzled out" after around 10 minutes.

He said: "I was shocked to see it but at the same time not too surprised because the conditions seemed right for it to form.

"It's warm out there, with dark black clouds and a bit of wind.

"I also felt some pressure on my face, something I experienced when seeing tornadoes in America."

The funnel cloud spotted in Gillingham by Joe Taylor
The funnel cloud spotted in Gillingham by Joe Taylor

Joe, who lives in Hathaway Court, Rainham, says the other parents at the school gate seemed bemused by his excitement.

"They were giving me funny looks, they didn't really know what me and kids were excited by," he said.

His interest in tornadoes comes from his nan who lived in the States and the 1996 movie Twister, starring Helen Hunt.

He added: "It was just amazing to see it, they do happen here in the UK but not very often at all."

The Met Office says in a typical year, there are around 30-35 tornadoes but it's very rare they're strong enough to cause any significant damage.

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