BBC: Is Brum Britain's tornado alley?

Simon Keeling, BBC weather expert, October 13, 2005

One tornado may be considered a fluke, but another one, within a mile of the previous event and within three months?

This is starting to become a habit!

People in Moseley could be forgiven for thinking that they are living in the UK's very own tornado alley.

Last night's event certainly was nowhere near as severe as the wind that struck on 28th July (which occurred less than a mile away), but it was strong enough to destroy a house roof.

So why should Birmingham be so prone to tornadoes and will they happen again?

It seems the answer lies in the topography of the city.

Complete article here

>>>
Note from Eric:
I know we have a few members from across the pond, any thoughts?
 
Originally posted by Eric Friedebach
It seems the answer lies in the topography of the city.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

The UK's severe-weather and tornado-forecasting skills are about at the stage the U.S.'s were 50 years ago. How many times do we have to dispell the myth that local environments (i.e. downtown areas, rivers and protective "hillocks") have nothing to do with whether an area gets tornadoes or not?

Sounds like they're trying to draw conclusions along the lines of the Caprock.....but for the life of me I can't think of anywhere in England having such similar topography which is juxtaposed just so to funnel air upwards like the Caprock.......but - I could be wrong. FWIW, I'm pretty much a believer in what the Caprock does - for all types of weather.

I just wish humans weren't so tempted to draw vast, wide-ranging, blanket conclusions to explain one or two anomalous events.

KR
 
So why should Birmingham be so prone to tornadoes and will they happen again?


The answer. The weather there is very unstable all year round. A region that experiences such a high incidence of atmospheric instability will get a high incidence of funnel clouds and tornadoes. As the climate is quite cool, CAPE levels are generaly very low, hence many of the tornadoes are weak. I suspect most of the tornadoes would be the 'landpout' variety.
 
If you take a large area and randomly plot points, sooner or later there will be two or three points that overlap. That one area is not any more likely to have additional points plotted. I think the same is true for tornadoes. Yes, there are "tornado alley's" on a larger scale but local areas that are struck frquently are more due to a combination of random chance and reporting bias (ie more populattion to see a tornado or more stuff to be damaged.)

Bill Hark
 
Back
Top