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 Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève

nachricht What makes erionite carcinogenic?
13.01.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>