The Met Office has issued multiple yellow and amber weather alerts as Storm Ciarán hits the UK - prompting many Brits to ask whether the severe winds equate to a Tornado. 

The weather forecaster named the storm on October 29 as it predicted "very strong winds" and "heavy rain" would arrive in southern parts of the UK overnight from Wednesday, November 1 into Thursday, November 2. 

Major incidents have been declared in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Jersey and hundreds of schools have closed.

Travel has also been affected for many, with train lines impacted by the weather and many companies telling their employees to work from home.

France has seen record-breaking gusts of up to 128mph (207km/h) at the coastal tip of Pointe du Raz, Brittany, overnight.

Meanwhile in the Channel Islands, dozens of people have been forced to take refuge in a hotel after their homes were damaged by over 100mph winds.

Additionally, three people have also been taken to hospital because of damage to their homes.

Is Storm Ciarán a tornado?

Earlier this week, a tornado warning was issued for parts of southern England by The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation.

At the time of the warning, they said: “This outlook is concerned with the risk of one or two tornadoes from convection associated with the storm, especially on the cold front of the system.

“The highest risk of one or two tornadoes would likely be along and south of a line from South Wales to London, but the risk cannot be ruled out a bit further north too, hence the Watch box extending into the Midlands and East Anglia.

“Very strong gusts may accompany some of the showery activity - and occasional CG lightning is possible, most likely near the south coast. Also, the strongest cells may produce some small hail.”

It is important to note that there are no tornado warnings currently in place.

If Storm Ciarán doesn't currently qualify as a tornado - when was the last time the UK experienced one?

When was the last time the UK had a tornado?

Tornados are categorised using the International Tornado Intensity Scale (The T Scale) which ranks the event based on separate wind speed, track length, track width and track area, according to the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO).

The last time the UK experienced a T7 tornado (strongly devastating winds) was December 8 1954 when it hit Gunnersbury in London.

Meanwhile, the most recent T6 tornado (moderately devastating) was on July 28, 2005 (rated T5-6) which hit Birmingham.

TORRO notes that the most intense tornado on record for the UK (and England) went through Welbourn, Wellingore, Navenby and Boothby Graffoe in Lincolnshire on October 23, 1666.

The Welbourn tornado has been rated at T8-9 with a reported maximum track width of 200m and a track length of 5km.