Mini-tornado spotted at Roadside of Catterline

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A mini-tornado was spotted twisting its way across the Mearns last Saturday, and several eye-witnesses captired the short-lived weather spectacle on camera.

This image was taken by David Gault from Aberdeen, looking inland from Fowlsheugh RSPB reserve, and shows the tornado travelling through rural farmland. It was also spotted by Anona Gauld at Roadside of Catterline.

David was walking with his family and taking pictures of puffins at the reserve, when he caught the scene on camera on Saturday.The renewable energy manager said: “My nine-year-old son spotted the tornado. The funnel was coming down from some pretty dark storm clouds. The tornado must have been a few miles away, but it was pretty dramatic.

Some tornados can reach speeds up to 300mph, but Graeme Whipps, Met Office forecaster in Aberdeen, said this twister was unlikely to have caused much damage.

He said: “The cloud is what we would call a funnel cloud. It is effectively the start of a tornado and can sometimes reach the ground, but it will not usually amount to much.

“It happens when there is vigorous convection activity, like the thunderstorms out towards Huntly and Keith on Saturday, but the most damage you might see here would be a branch off a tree.

“If you were near one you might notice it being a lot windier and they are not uncommon during the summer.