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South Lakes man films tornado over Morecambe Bay
A STORM-chasing fanatic is esctatic after seeing his first-ever tornado develop in the skies above Morecambe Bay.
Tom Lynch was driving to Bardsea with his family when a cloud formation caught his eye near to Greenodd – and instantly he knew that he was going to witness something special.
Mr Lynch, who has been chasing storms for more than 20 years after getting the bug while living in Arkansas, quickly u-turned from the route he was taking and drove along country lanes towards Greenodd to get a clear view.
“I do a lot of storm chasing and the cloud looked very interesting and so I was very keen to get a good look,” said Mr Lynch, an operations manager with South Lakes Housing.
“The way that the weather was at the weekend I was looking out all the the time as there were cumulus clouds bubbling and storms developing all over the place.
“We had decided to go out for the afternoon but I knew that I wanted to get near to the coast.
“When I saw the cloud I just had to follow it.”
He parked the car his wife and mother-in-law looked on from the car as the storm addict and his grandson Joshua videoed the seven-minute cloud, which formed into a supercell, a rotating cloud which gradually narrows and spins.
They usually give birth to a tornado and are the ‘mother’ of all thunderstorms.
He watched as a cone-shaped cloud turned into a funnel cloud – the early stage of a tornado – and grew to become a meso cyclone which are a rare sight in the UK.
“I believe the cloud did touch down over the water in Morecambe Bay and there would have been a circulation in the water, but unfortunately I did not see and so I can’t say that it was a tornado as I did not see it touch.”
He said that the cyclone would not have caused damage and described it as ‘marvellous’.
The previous day Mr Lynch captured a picture of lightening breaking over the land- scape at Kendal’s Scout Scar.
“Meso cyclones are pretty rare in this country - I was in seventh heaven when I watched it develop. I have never seen anything like it before in this country. I feel very lucky to have seen it,” said Mr Lynch, of Stainbank Road, who has spent the past 12 years chasing storms.
He is also a guide driver in the US during the tornado season.
The most impressive storm he said had ever witnessed was in 2006 at Greensburg in Kansas.
“I love storms because it is nature at its most magnificent and chasing them and going where the weather is, is exciting.”
Meterologist Rory Ogorman said that the meso cyclone was an ‘amazing’ event in the UK.