Tornado hits Surrey as weather conditions worsen
21 December 2019, 16:14 | Updated: 21 December 2019, 20:10
There are reports of a tornado hitting Chertsey, Surrey that could have developed from heavy rain and rapid circulation, according to the Met Office.
Several residents have told Surrey Live that parts of their properties have been damaged by a tornado.
Timothy Varndell told the newspaper it was the "scariest thing" he's ever witnessed as he was driving along Green Lane in Chertsey when the tornado struck.
His dash cam footage shows a sudden torrential downpour with high-speed winds that batter his car and the trees on the side of the road.
Runnymede Police said they have received numerous reports of trees falling down around the Chertsey and Runnymede areas.
"Please respect road closures to allow our partners to clear them; stay aware of possible further trees falling; drive carefully," the local police said in a statement.
Crews from Surrey Fire and Rescue have also been sent to reports of a tornado ripping through Ottershaw.
Numerous reports of trees down around #Chertsey and #Runnymede.— Runnymede Police (@RunnymedeBeat) December 21, 2019
Please respect road closures to allow our partners to clear them; stay aware of possible further trees falling; drive carefully. pic.twitter.com/Yco53av6AD
The Met Office says their radar images, along with the pictures shared on social media and the dashcam footage all strongly suggest that it's likely to be a tornado, which may have developed from heavy showers and rapid circulation.
Over 96 flood warnings and 240 flood alerts are in place today across England and flood defences have been put up in some parts of the south.
Network rail said there will be disruption to Great Northern, Gatwick Express, Thameslink, Southern services until midday on Sunday.
Impact on transport will be of serious concern for those heading away for the festive season.
There have been reports of a tornado in Chertsey, Surrey this morning. The radar image on the left shows the heavy shower that would have caused it. The Doppler image on the right shows relative motion of rain droplets; the circled area highlights the rapid circulation pic.twitter.com/waYvXrrB1Q— Met Office (@metoffice) December 21, 2019