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 Wintertime Arctic sea ice growth slows long-term decline: NASA
07.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Why Tehran Is Sinking Dangerously
06.12.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>