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United Kingdom Idle

Surrey Hit With Catnado 95

taikedz writes "A "mini-tornado" brought down trees, damaged property and even lifted cats in the air, an eyewitness has said. Shirley Blay, who keeps horses at the Jolly Blossom Stables on Station Road, Chobham, told BBC Surrey: 'It was a mini-tornado, I can't describe it as anything less. It started with very heavy rain, hailstones and very strong wind and all of a sudden, the wind was very, very strong, to the point of lifting roofs. We've got four feral cats in the yard and they were being lifted off the ground — about 6ft off the ground — they just went round like a big paper bag.' She said the people and animals who were caught up in the storm were uninjured. A spokesman from Valgrays Animal Rescue in Warlingham said: 'It was like something out of a Steven Spielberg film.'
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Surrey Hit With Catnado

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  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:59AM (#46080397) Homepage Journal

    There are hundreds to thousands of real, super destructive tornadoes each year, I don't get why a particularly weak one is of note. We didn't even get a "scientists baffled" tagline.

    • by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:03AM (#46080445)
      Because it hit Cobham and did millions of pounds worth of renovation :D
    • I have never heard of tornado-like weather being native to England. Perhaps our British brethren can elaborate on how this story is unique.

      • We get tornadoes, just not often. Perhaps a few dozen a year - in my life I've only seen one once (I was driving at night and it crossed the road from one side to the other 100 yards in front of me - scared the crap out of me).

        As a result they are much discussed over cups of tea when they occur. The national obsession with cats has made this the news story of the year
        • Re:Hello I'm british (Score:5, Informative)

          by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:23PM (#46081257)

          What you saw is a large "Dust devil" I've seen those to. About the size of an office building.

          A REAL tornado you can't be within 100 yards of. They reach from the ground to the sky and are usually anywhere from a few dozen yards wide to miles wide at the base. I've survived 2 of those, and if it were an actual tornado, you probably would have crapped yourself for real.

        • Tornadoes can happen *anywhere*. However, some places are more likely to get them than others; the American midwest is the most likely place, by a fairly wide margin. Meteorologists are are not entirely certain why.

          • I thought it had to do with the common occurrence of cold fronts from Canada colliding with warm fronts from the Gulf of Mexico. That would occur right around Kansas / Oklahoma, the center of Tornado Alley.
      • Actually we do get minor tornado's every now and then but it's only very occasionally like every five or ten years.
        • I've heard that providing low-cost housing has been an issue in Surrey, but this story should tell you that a mobile home park is not the best approach.
      • The UK has more tornadoes by area than any other country, and more in total than any other European country.

        But they only pick up cats, not cows. Or towns.

      • by Alioth ( 221270 )

        The UK actually has the most tornadoes in the world per unit area (0.14 per 1000km^3) - more tornadoes per 1000km^3 than "Tornado Alley" in the United States. Including territorial waters, the UK has more tornadoes per year than any other European country. It's just they are very rarely strong enough to be noteworthy. If no one sees them then no one will know they even existed, since they tend to be too weak to do any damage (or at least damage that's not consistent with other attributes of the storm). The

        • by cffrost ( 885375 )

          The UK actually has the most tornadoes in the world per unit area (0.14 per 1000km^3) - more tornadoes per 1000km^3 than "Tornado Alley" in the United States.

          You might want to check that number — you claimed a count per unit volume right after you wrote "per unit area." Perhaps you meant 0.14/1000km^2/year, or 0.27/100km^2/year (0.14^(1/3)^2)/1000^(1/3)^2/year)?

        • Britain is an island. Per unit area is not an appropriate way to justify this statement: "The UK has the most tornados in the world per unit area."

          Having been raised in "Tornado Alley", the majority of Tornados go unreported. They are too commonplace. Plus, we have had tornados one mile in circumference. So if your'e going to use per unit area (since Britain is an island), you need to include the unit area of the tornados themselves. For instance, a one mile wide tornado that is on the ground for an hour wi

      • Actually, the UK has a higher rate of tornadoes than tornado alley in the US. It just happens they're generally somewhat smaller.

        • As for someone who has been raised in "tornado alley" and has seen over 100 tornados before the age 7, I find this hard to believe.

    • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:13AM (#46080537) Homepage Journal

      Because, how often do you get to use the word "catnado," much less actually see it happen?

      Here's hoping someone caught it on film and is uploading to the net as we type.

      • by mattie_p ( 2512046 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:40AM (#46080813)

        Because, how often do you get to use the word "catnado," much less actually see it happen?

        Here's hoping someone caught it on film and is uploading to the net as we type.

        Seriously. Pics or it didn't happen.

      • Exactly. I believe this is the first ever catnado documented on /.

        I also take issue with the "the cats were unharmed" thing. I'd bet they are particularly pissed today, and by pissed I mean irritated, not the Brit meaning, though they may be drunk as well.

        CATNADOOO! There, I feel better now.

      • If someone is not uploading a Catnado as we type, then something is broken in our system.

        In fact, If someone on SyFy isn't already writing a screenplay -- something is broken.

        I'm even betting the man who wrote the screenplay for the epic "Sharknado" is on the case. Don't worry. Don't worry at all. []

        • I'm even betting the man who wrote the screenplay for the epic "Sharknado" is on the case.

          Someone wrote that? I assumed it was the result of a buffer overflow.

    • are you obtuse?

      This "small" tornado that "baffled no scientists" had cats. YouTube and SlashDot need to inform people.

      Have you seen the internet(s) yet?

    • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:30PM (#46081337) Homepage

      You clearly don't understand news.

      "When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news." ( [] )

      It doesn't matter that more people are hurt by dogs biting them then dogs hurt by men biting them, it is all about frequency and expectation. If you can tell some random person on the street "X happened" and they are shocked, then its news. if they shrug and say "no shit, it happens every day" then its not news.

    • by wcrowe ( 94389 )

      Since the story is from the UK, it would read, "Boffins Baffled".

    • I am inclined to think that even thousands is understatement. We still do not have an adequate apparatus to predict tornados. We still rely upon 3rd person accounts.

      • Maybe 15 years ago that was true. The wind shear hypothesis, as measured by doppler radar has been pretty well validated.

  • WTF Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sanosuke001 ( 640243 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:00AM (#46080409)
    What is this, the local fucking news?
  • I literally looked down at the clock on my taskbar to see if today was April 1 while reading this blurb.

  • It was just dust devils. With the climate changing, more ppl will see what we get in Colorado regularly.
  • This post is perfect for a monday! It's about cats, it's on the internet, and it's about a tornado in England of all places. Along with that it's certainly due to be a Syfy movie of the week, following up after Sharknado, Sharkalanche, Sharkicane, and Sharkano.
  • by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:29PM (#46083781)

    cat gory 5 catnado.

  • It was more a band of very strong wind (for the UK) - the damage track is several miles wide, nothing like a tornado. Not too severe, about one tree down every 2 miles (rough calculation from seeing about a dozen trees down on a 25 mile local trip). We lost 2, both ripped off about 10 feet from the ground (in from the edge of a small wood - apparently others have seen a similar pattern).

  • I am very disappointed there were no pictures or video of said "catnado". :P
  • ...CATNADO ripped through the Front Page, leaving a trail of pun-laden comments and fur ball debris in its wake.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller