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 Climate change weakens Walker circulation
20.10.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen

nachricht Shallow soils promote savannas in South America
20.10.2017 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>