A Vortex or Two

Last Saturday was an interesting day from a weather watching point of view as I was witness to two different types of vortex.

Around noon that day, while walking around the village, I saw an unusual arc of cloud coming out of a bigger cloud. After watching it for a moment it seemed clear that the arc was, in fact, a rotating tube of cloud. A couple of other people who were with me watched and confirmed what I was seeing. We watched it for about five minutes as it "detached" itself from its parent cloud and head off on its own, finally appearing to "evaporate".

Later that day, probably some time around 18:40 BST, while driving up the A15 to Lincoln we drove into what appeared to be some sort of storm front. There was a very obvious line of cloud with rain falling from the leading edge and curving under the cloud. That was an impressive sight as it was. Then, as we got further under the cloud my wife pointed out an area of tight rotation within it. I had a look and could see it and commented that, if we were lucky, we might see a funnel cloud form. A friend in the car with us then pointed out that, under the area of rotation, dust was being picked up and spun around in the field below. We watched this for about 20 seconds as we drove past and then the movement in the field seemed to cease.

Sadly, in both cases, I didn't have any kind of camera with me and, in the latter case, I didn't think to note the exact time or location of the event. As best as I can recall I think it probably happened around here.

Annoyingly, at the moment, I can't find any online charts for the UK that show fronts and the like for around that time. My suspicion is that what we saw was a cold-core funnel cloud starting to form so it would be nice to check if there was a cold front in the area at the time.

File Under: Funnel Cloud, Vortex, Storm.

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