Tornado Hits Oxfordshire

A tornado swept though Bicester, Eynsham and Witney as part of a thunderstorm on Monday afternoon.

The storm, thought to be an unusual "supercell'' storm, travelled through the south Midlands, bringing rain, large hailstones, and a tornado in Oxfordshire.

The thunderstorm started in Wiltshire, and moved across Oxfordshire - where a tornado was reported in several places including Bicester, Eynsham, and Kidlington - then moved to Buckinghamshire.

Richard Glazer drove through the tornado with his wife and son on the A34 near Kidlington, Oxfordshire.

"It was very wet, we were just driving on the A34 and looked up and realised one part of the sky was moving in one direction and another in the opposite direction,'' he said.

"I thought, 'that looks like a tornado!' We pretty much drove through it, we were right underneath it.

"As we drove into it the trees were blowing left to right and as we got through it they were blowing the other way.''

The 40-year-old, from nearby Witney, Oxfordshire, added:

"It wasn't particularly big but it was amazing to see the change in the environment. It was grey and a bit blurry and then to be hit by something like that. You suddenly realise the force of nature, it's incredible."

Richard put this video of the storm on YouTube:

Brendan Jones, forecaster at Meteogroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said:

"This particular thunderstorm developed around 3pm over the northern part of Wiltshire, and then gradually over the next three hours that storm tracked through Oxfordshire and into part of Buckinghamshire before eventually dying out before it got to Cambridgeshire.

"That's quite far for one thunderstorm to track.

He said it was likely the storm was a "supercell'' thunderstorm - unlike normal storms, the air in supercell storms is spinning or rotating, he said.

"There are suggestions that this thunderstorm was a special type of storm that we don't get too often in this country. That's a reason why it was able to last for such a long time," he said.

Thanks to Richard Glazer for the video and photo/