There was a lot of hot but turbulent weather early in July which spawned some thunderstorms and funnel clouds in places. This shot was taken over Darlington on 10th July. Technically this was not a tornado, as it didn’t touch down on the ground, but it was spectacular and probably quite scary for those under it! We would encourage anyone who sees a funnel cloud (especially if it touches the ground to become a tornado) to report it to Torro.
Most of us see clouds every day, but only very occasionally will you be lucky enough to spot one of these 7 particularly rare types – some of which can only be seen in very specific circumstances or locations. Noctilucent clouds One of the rarest and most beautiful of all cloud types. They are found at very high altitudes – up to around 250,000 feet Visible on clear, summers nights between 45 °N and 80°N latitude ,they appear illuminated by a blue or occasionally red or green light. We still do not know much about how they are formed, but … [Read more]
Noctilucent Clouds over Durham City, June 17th/18th 2019 by Mike Ridley Photography Some of you eagle-eyed skywatchers will have noticed a ghostly glow in the sky on the way back from the pub in recent days. Was it real? Was it just an illusion caused by too much Gin? No, what you saw was real and is called ‘Noctilucence’. It is a spectacular display of very high clouds. Noctilucence is exhibited by clouds that shine at night (Noctilucent means ‘night shining’ in Latin). Noctilucent Clouds exist in the upper atmosphere (Mesosphere), at a height of around 50 miles. They are composed of … [Read more]
The report above appeared in the Northern Echo newspaper on 29th May 2019. The axis of funnel clouds may be vertical, inclined (as seen here), or sometimes long and sinuous. In the UK it is usually tens of metres in diamater (not huge). It is much rarer for funnel clouds to touch the ground and that is when they become tornadoes, but it does happen occasionally. Most UK tornado reports come from The Midlands, Central, Southern and South East England and East Anglia. Our very own Tornado Alley! If you see a funnel cloud or suspected tornado, you should … [Read more]
The sky turned red over Durham tonight as the sun dipped toward the horizon. No words needed really, it speaks for itself. Sunset over Gilesgate, Durham in October 2018
“Southern Ireland was battered by gales, but the strange weather that hit the british mainland was unlike anything i’ve ever experienced. At 2pm in the afternoon, the sky had a strange orange hue, and it was dark – REALLY dark. The streetlights were on and cars were driving with full headlights. It was almost completely still, but a smoky smell hung in the air. This was afterwards attributed to a combination of forest fires over the Iberian Peninsula and Saharan dust, all dragged North on the Eastern side of the depression centre. Within 90 minutes the sun was out and … [Read more]
A fantastic display of nacreous (mother of pearl) clouds occured across NE England in February 2016. These photos were taken above Durham Cathedral and Castle at about 7:15am. Nacreous Clouds are quite rare. They can glow very brightly due to iridescence and are much higher than other tropospheric clouds, a height of 15-30km above the ground is typical. They are caused by wave-like motion of air, normally due to the proximity of mountain ranges. Best viewing is just before dawn and just after sunset.
This incredible Shelf Cloud, looking like an alien spacecraft from the film “Independence Day” came in over Durham in July 2015. Although it looked very threatening, on this occasion not much rain fell from it. It’s the best example I’ve seen of a Shelf Cloud in the UK. On 1st July 2015, the temperature hit 30 degC in Durham, being only the 30th such occasion since 1850 to reach the mark. The actual max was 30.2 degC. It was a very hot sultry day, which quickly degenerated into thunderstorms with rain and hail. Met Office : Heatwave 1st July 2015 … [Read more]
Tomato Soup Cloud An amazing sunset over Co. Durham. This one was taken from Newton Aycliffe, but could be seen widely. It looked as if someone had poured Tomato Soup into the clouds.