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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Tornado wows spectators at Monarto during statewide thunderstorms in South Australia

By Malcolm Sutton and Isabel Dayman Updated about an hour ago Tornado in thick cloud at Monarto Photo: A tornado extends to the ground from thick cloud near Monarto. (Pete Bray, supplied by The Murray Valley Standard) Related Story: Severe weather warnings issued as torrential rain drenches SA Map: Monarto South 5254 Spectators have captured several images of a tornado that touched down just 65 kilometres from Adelaide during widespread thunderstorms in South Australia. Construction worker Reece Dickeson was on a break in Murray Bridge when the tornado appeared at nearby Monarto. "My boss turned around and saw a bit of a funnel, so I just got the phone out and took a couple of pictures," he said. "I just went back and had a look at it. It was crazy. It's not a real big tornado but down in Adelaide and South Australia, it's still pretty huge." Mr Dickeson estimated the funnel was about 20 kilometres away at the time and he could not hear any sound created by the weather phenomenon. He said Murray Bridge was "spitting with rain" at the time, but it was "mostly just cloud cover". No damage has yet been reported. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Simon Timkey said tornadoes were a "severe thunderstorm phenomenon" and SA rarely experienced them. "But it's not unusual to see the odd one here and there," he said. Tornado spotted in the skies at Monarto Photo: A tornado stretches over the skies of Monarto. (Supplied: Reece Dickeson) "Certainly not the size of the big ones that you see images of from the United States at times. "If you do happen to see one of those, you want to make sure you keep yourself in a safe spot because they can produce some strong and damaging winds." Mr Timkey said wind gusts in excess of 100 kilometres per hour could occur. A small tornado that touched down in the coastal town Kingston in SA's south-east in 2013 caused widespread to the town, damaging about 25 homes.

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