Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Britain tops Europe and US as target for tornadoes

09.06.2004


The UK is a tornado hotspot, according to University of Leeds researchers, who have found that more than 100 tornadoes a year hit the UK – more per acre than the rest of Europe and the US.




In a Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society paper, geographers Joseph Holden and Amy Wright argue that although there are 20-30 sightings each year, five times that number of tornadoes actually hit the UK.

Most tornadoes are not reported because they are not seen. But by modelling the conditions leading to tornadoes, researchers can say when they are likely to have occurred, even if there were no witnesses.


Dr Holden said: “The work allowed us for the first time to establish the likely real extent of tornadoes in the UK. We can now get information on where tornadoes are likely to be really occurring – whether they were in urban areas and likely to be spotted and cause damage or in remote areas and go undetected.

“We obtained details about past tornadoes and the precise meteorological conditions at the time they occurred and then created a model which could say there would be a tornado when those factors combined. When tested against occurrences of when tornadoes were actually reported it managed to get it right 86 per cent of the time.”

When the model was run using weather station data for the period 1995 to 1999 it estimated 630 tornadoes, compared with the 122 actually reported.

The research also found that tornadoes are more likely to hit the flatter south east of the UK than the hillier north and west.

A tornado is a fast moving rotating column of air usually associated with a funnel shaped cloud extending to the ground. In the UK tornadoes are only classified as such if the funnel cloud reaches the land. Tornado winds can reach 300mph, but in the UK they are more typically 70-120 mph.

Tornadoes are often caused by extreme atmospheric vertical instability. This occurs when cold air overrides warmer moist air and thus you get a strong updraught. However, exact formation mechanisms are still not fully understood.

A tornado will often only last for a few minutes, and may move a few miles across land. They tend to have a diameter of 20 to 100 metres. In the UK extremely intense tornadoes are rare but in the USA occasionally vast tornadoes track for over 50 miles and are over 1 mile wide with winds over 300 miles per hour.

Vanessa Bridge | University of Leeds
Further information:
http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/499/s1.htm

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California
24.02.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht 'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field
23.02.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>