A live TV weather report took a dramatic turn when the presenter realised a tornado was hitting an Alabama neighbourhood as he was speaking.
WALA TV Meteorologist Matt Barentine was pointing out "cloud rotating and bubbling around" in the dark skies above Mobile on a screen during a Christmas broadcast when he realised a tornado had formed.
"If you're in those areas you need to be in shelter," he warned viewers.
Newsreader Michael White soon confirmed the dark cloud seen moving across the screen was indeed a tornado.
Moments later large flashes could be seen lighting up the area around the twister, which the newsreader identified as exploding transformers.
"You can see the power flashes constantly happening as that thing moves from west to east," White said.
The storm knocked out the power in Mobile's midtown area and debris also destroyed some homes while badly damaging others.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley will be touring the tornado-hit areas on this week.
There were no reports of serious injuries.
Author: Martin Zavan, Approving editor: Fiona Willan