Weather has a twister in the tail!

FREAK weather has heralded the start of the school holidays with a twister in Suffolk and problems for sailors.Evening Star readers photographed this twister as it moved over Suffolk on Saturday evening.

By James Fraser

FREAK weather has heralded the start of the school holidays with a twister in Suffolk and problems for sailors.

Evening Star readers photographed this twister as it moved over Suffolk on Saturday evening.

It caused few problems – but towards the coast another whirlwind caused chaos for yachts.

An RAF search and rescue crew from Wattisham was scrambled after dozens of sailors were left clinging to their boats when a storm with gale force winds capsized every dingy taking part in a sailing race.

Around 24 dinghies, some crewed by young teenagers, were taking part in the Lord Trophy Pursuit race in the River Colne at Brightlingsea when a sudden storm caused chaos on the water shortly before 4pm on Saturday.

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Winds reached gale force speeds of almost 50 miles per hour and driving rain and hail brought zero visibility, forcing Brightlingsea Sailing Club officials to make an emergency call to coastguards to help rescue at least 40 stricken sailors.

As well as the helicopter, Clacton lifeboat was scrambled.

Sailors clung desperately to their boats – some were in the water for up to 20 minutes.

A twister was spotted over Claydon and the Bramford areas. This was in fact a 'funnel cloud', a metereological phenomonenon that becomes a tornado only if it touches the ground.

When Guy Vincent of Thornhill Road, Claydon, noticed it on Saturday evening he grabbed a camera to capture the moment.

He said it had gone very dark and then he noticed the spiral shape as he looked out of his house in the direction of Sproughton.

"Although we have had twisters over Suffolk a few times you don't expect to see one at such close quarters. It was quite weird," he said.

Sonia Collings also captured the twister on film from her home in Wilfred Hurry Close, Bramford.

"I was looking in the direction of Somersham at about 6.30pm when I saw the clouds forming," she said.

Star weatherman Ken Blowers pointed to two 'cumulo-nimbus' clouds as the chief culprits for the sudden bad weather, adding they can easily identified by their "cauliflower tops".

"They were drifting around very slowly on Saturday because there were light winds," he said. "They formed because there was unstable air up to about 20,000ft, you get up and down movements. Underneath them you can get anything – torrential rain, hail, thunder storms – and it can produce whirlwinds and tornadoes. You can get anything in the book.

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