Crumble: A street in Coventry is littered with mushed-up apples after the freak incident on Monday evening
The inclement conditions at this time of year normally cause a variety of traffic and logistical problems as motorists battle their way through wind, rain and snow.

But one freak of nature drivers do not normally have to contend with is flying fruit, as mystified residents did in Coventry on Monday night.

Bemused motorists were forced to take evasive action when an avalanche of apples descended from the sky just after the rush-hour.

One theory is that freak weather conditions may have caused a vortex of water pressure, which is when wind and rain form a powerful vacuum that can lift items and dump them up to 100 miles away.

The current of air could have lifted the fallen fruit from a garden or orchard and released it over the Coundon area of Coventry.

Another theory is that the apples could have fallen from a plane.

One motorist, who was travelling with her husband at about 6.45pm, said it was lucky the downpour hadn't caused a pile-up.

She said: "The apples fell out of the sky as if out of nowhere.

'They were small and green and hit the bonnet hard.

'There were other cars on the road at the time too and everyone had to stop their cars suddenly.

'It wouldn't surprise me if some cars were damaged.'

She said she and her husband were so astonished they drove back to the site to confirm what they had seen.

'When we went back the apples were still there,' she added.

'They were squashed where they'd been run over.

'I know the area well and there are no apple trees around.'
Downpour: Dave Meakins holds one of the apples which fell from the sky in Coundon, Coventry, on Monday night

Yesterday, a 20-yard stretch of the road was strewn with crushed apples made mushy by the rain. Many had smashed as though they had fallen from a great height.

Baffled resident Dave Meakins opened the front door yesterday morning to find a number of smashed apples in his front garden.

The 63-year-old retired fork lift truck driver cleared up the mess, initially believing it was down to misbehaving children until he looked across the road to see more apple debris and realised the scale of the phenomenon.

'I honestly don't know where the apples could have come from,' he said.

'I assumed kids must have thrown them because we do get the occasional egg and apple thrown but there's way too much for that.'

Today the Met Office said it was possible the apples had been scooped up by a tornado.

He said: 'It's hypothetically possible that a tornado could have picked them up and that they were transported in turbulent air until they fell.'

On October 5, 1967, thousands of maggots fell like rain over Acapulco, Mexico, after a heavy storm.

In 1996 dozens of frogs were reported to be falling from the sky in Llanddewi, Wales and again in Croydon, London in 1998.

More recently, on August 18, 2004, fish fell from the sky on to the village of Knighton, Powys.

In August 2007 fish also rained down in the streets of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk after a mini-tornado at sea.

The explanation is down to a typical spell of British summer weather, where a few hot days are often followed by a thunderstorm.

Vigorous updrafts on a hot day may have sucked the frogs, fish and other small creatures into a developing thunder cloud, only to deposit them again in heavy rain downwind.