Tornado blackpool April 1st 2018
The strange cloud formation was seen around the area of Whitegate Drive earlier this afternoon, with a picture and video being sent to The Gazette by readers.

This picture, taken by Steph Bosson close to Oxford Square, shows the cloud

In the footage, sent in by Ian Punchard, a man can be heard saying: "What is it?"

Another says it's a tornado, before the voice adds: "That cloud there just started funneling. It's coming down and down and down, I'm telling you. You can see the cloud spinning as well."

It appears to be a funnel cloud which, according to the Met Office, are 'cone-shaped clouds which extend from the base of a cloud towards the ground without actually reaching the surface'.

In the UK, they often look like thin dangling bits of rope, the forecaster said, and tend to be harmless.

However, in hotspots like tornado alley in the USA, they can be thicker and much more intense. They are classed as tornadoes - or twisters - if they reach the ground.