At this time of year, UK motorists battle their way through wind, rain and snow. It is not often that they would encounter a downpour of … apples!
Mystified residents encountered exactly this in Coventry on Monday night.
Bemused motorists were forced to take evasive action when an avalanche of apples descended from the sky just after the rush-hour.
The bizarre incident is thought to have been caused by freak weather conditions leading to a sudden vortex of wind pressure.
The current of air could have lifted the fallen fruit in Coventry from a garden or orchard and released it over the Coundon area of the city.
Another theory is that the apples could have fallen from a plane flying overhead.
One motorist, who was travelling with her husband at about 6.45pm, said it was lucky the downpour hadn’t sparked a pile-up.
She said: “The apples fell out of the sky as if out of nowhere.
‘They were small and green and hit the bonnet hard.
‘There were other cars on the road at the time too and everyone had to stop their cars suddenly.
‘It wouldn’t surprise me if some cars were damaged.’ She said they were both so astonished, they drove back to the site to confirm what they had seen.
‘When we went back the apples were still there,’ she added.
‘They were squashed where they’d been run over.
‘I know the area well and there are no apple trees around.’ Yesterday, a 20-yard stretch of the road was strewn with crushed apples made mushy by the rain.
Many had smashed as though they had fallen from a great height.
Baffled resident Dave Meakins opened the front door yesterday morning to find a number of smashed apples in his front garden.
The 63-year-old retired fork lift truck driver cleared the mess, initially believing it was down to misbehaving children until he looked across the road to see more apple debris and realised the scale of the phenomenon.
‘I honestly don’t know where the apples could have come from,’ said Dave.
‘I assumed kids must have thrown them because we do get the occasional egg and apple thrown but there’s way too much for that.
‘I would love to know where they came from.’ He and other neighbours are keen to get to core of the issue.
One theory is freak weather conditions may have caused a vortex of water pressure, which is when wind and rain form a powerful vacuum that can lift items and dump them up to 100 miles away. Some also believe the apples fell from a plane.
Today the Met Office said it was possible the apples had been scooped up by a tornado.
He said: ‘It’s hypothetically possible that a tornado could have picked them up and that they were transported in turbulent air until they fell.’