12/04/2012 11:16 BST

UK Weather: 'Tornado' Clouds Could Hit The UK As Britain Braces For Heavy Rainfall (PICTURES)

Heavy rain and gusts of winds accompanied by turbulent funnel clouds that look strikingly similar to tornadoes, could hit Britain over the coming days, weather forecasters have warned.

Although funnel clouds look dramatically like twisters, they are actually just heavy clouds, created by spiralling columns of restless air. When funnel clouds hit the ground, they become tornadoes.

The east of England is likely to be the worst hit by the bad weather, with the rainfall likely to be followed by hail and even thunder and lightening.

Britain should brace itself for a number of rainy days over the next week, with Sunday likely to be the only dry day before bands of rain move across the whole of the UK, heralding a distinctly sodden April compared to last month.

The changing weather due to a cold north-westerly wind mixing with warmer air from the ground to create heavy precipitation and high winds.

However the temperature is likely to remain the same, the mercury hovering around a mild 9-12 degrees.

Despite the wet outlook, much of the UK remains hampered by a hosepipe ban, so the rain may prove popular with gardeners.

"The North West wind is bringing us cold air but the sunshine is making the air rise from the ground warm causing typical April showers," said Charlie Powell of the Met Office.

"Any rainfall is useful but a significant amount more is needed to alleviate the drought. There may be thunderstorms, lightning and hail with the possibility of funnel clouds."

Take a look at some of the dramatic pictures of funnel clouds below (many of these turned into actual tornadoes, which is not what has been predicted)