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Significant tornado tracks through Birmingham, UK

Significant for the UK

Reports just coming in but what appears to be a T3/4 (Low F2) has this afternoon tracked across the metropolitan are of South East Birmingham today.

50 Ambulance crews attended the scene and the fire service has called this a major incident. Reports are that 19 people have been injured – 3 seriously

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_mi...nds/4725279.stm

and the UK media still calls these "mini tornadoes" :evil:

I should also mention that both TORRO (UK) and ESTOFEX (Europe) along with many chaser forecast this event - but there is simply no way of issuing warnings in the UK :?
 
Wow, that was a major storm for the area. It will be interesting to see the final damage surveys and reports. Hopefully, there will be some nice video of the tornado itself. Thanks for the updates.

Bill Hark
 
Amazing! Just saw footage of this tornado on the Dutch news. It was shot by amateurs and they were nearly standing INSIDE the tornado and were nearly blown away. Unfortunately the British media report was translated literal, so it was called a mini-tornado...

By the way, during the early evening a "mini-tornado" touched down southwest of Brussels, Belgium:
<IMG SRC=http://www.weerwoord.be/uploads/19720052813290.jpg>
Several supercells formed in northwestern Europe today, so maybe I will receive more tornado reports.

Bernard
 
The rotation of that wall cloud/tornadic circulation was amazing - it doesn't come any better than that if you're a rotation buff.

Congrats to England - you've scored a fairly nice catch this time!

KR
 
Some graphic damage images have just been shown on UK T.V. I will post some up some of the images soon.

and still the UK media call this and other tornadic events "mini tornadoes"
 
Tornadoes in England? I guess that would be the last place I'd ever expect to see or hear of one!

Actually, England gets a number of tornadoes yearly. From what I understand, most of these are "cold core low tornadoes", that is, they form in environments characterized by small CAPE (in the deep layer) but very strong low-level shear.

Gabe
 
I never even stopped to think of that. For some weird reason I didnt think the UK's climate favored tornadic development-guess I was wrong. I know that several places in Europe occaisonally see tornadoes, but never knew it was possible in England.
 
Have just seen that tornado video on TV news here(NZ). Quite an impressive tornado. And yes, England gets more than its fair share of tornadoes as does the west of Europe.
 
I can not comment on the source of the BBC tornado images - if one of them is yours then email them!

Due to the research that TORRO (http://www.torro.org.uk) in the UK have done over the last 30 years we know that we get on average 33 tornados per year – which is not bad considering the size of the UK. We tend to have high shear / low instability environments but yesterday we had surface obs of 24T/19Td and this released a fair amount of cape.

Here is the front page of one of our newspapers which gives you an idea of the damage caused in Birmingham.

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More European tornadoes yesterday

Media report: near Auxerre, France, at least 14 people were injured because of a tornado. Furthermore there was lots of damage to houses and trees in Montlupon. The hail was described as grapefruit-sized.

Part from the Estofex forecast for today:
"If low level depression develops over central Germany, broad backing wind field north of this depression can be expected...in fact, low level shear of 15m/s +, 0-1 SRH values of 200 - locally 400 m**2/s**2 ( especially next to retreating warm front )and low LCLs would be more than adequate for each storm to organize...if this backing wind field can be established, discrete cell evolution can be expected whith main threat being very large hail, severe wind gusts and a few tornadoes - one or two of them could be strong."
http://estofex.met.fu-berlin.de/outlook/ht...07282119cf.html
 
I never even stopped to think of that. For some weird reason I didnt think the UK's climate favored tornadic development-guess I was wrong. I know that several places in Europe occaisonally see tornadoes, but never knew it was possible in England.

We do get a few, and some of us (approx 30) have been chasing them for a fair few years now, however I have not even got close! One day... :)

Regards
Terry
 
We do get a few, and some of us (approx 30) have been chasing them for a fair few years now, however I have not even got close! One day... :)

Regards
Terry

Who knows Terry, perhaps the number of tornadoes is increasing here in northwestern Europe.
The Netherlands roughly gets about 20 full grown tornado/spout reports each year. Most of them are landspouts or cold core tornadoes.
This table is from An updated estimate of tornado occurrence in Europe by Nikolai Dotzek:
Table 1: Tornadoes over land, per country per year. First two data columns give the average number based on observations, the second two give an estimate of the expected “trueâ€￾ number.
For the last countries in the list, only estimates by T. Meaden were available. (excuse me for the layout of this table)
Observation Estimations
Country min max min max
Albania 0 0 2 2
Austria 3 3 5 5
Belgium 2 5 5 10
Bulgaria 1 3 2 2
Czech Republic 7 7 10 10
Estonia 8 11 8 11
Finland 5 5 10 10
France 8 8 10 30
Germany 10 10 30 30
Greece 6 6 8 10
Hungary 8 9 10 13
Ireland 10 10 10 11
Italy 15 15 12 18
Latvia 1 4 3 7
Lithuania 1 1 3 5
Netherlands 20 20 35 35
Poland 4 4 5 6
Portugal 1 2 3 3
Romania 1 1 3 3
Russia (Europ.) 4 5 8 10
Slovakia 1 1 4 4
Slovenia 1 1 1 1
Spain 8 12 30 30
Switzerland 2 2 3 3
United Kingdom 33 33 50 50
Norway and Sweden n/a n/a 5 5
Denmark n/a n/a 2 2
Malta and Cyprus n/a n/a 2 2
Total 160 178 279 328
 
Mini tornado ... say no more, same deal here with the media.

Stuart - I hope you don't mind, I posted some of the links regarding this significant event you put up on a Australia Weather forum - as many do not have access to Stormtrack.

Thanks
 
More media misinformation

Tidbits like this one from the BBC article do not help when it comes to educating the public about severe weather:

"A Met Office spokesperson said... City centres are not the natural habitat of a tornado; the tall buildings would normally stop their formation." :roll:
 
I heard the news media refer to a video of one of these (it was the video where the cameraman was lying down filming it to protect himself) as a "mini-tornado".

What the heck is a mini-tornado? Either it's a tornado or it isn't. The way this was reported, I had no idea whether they were talking about a legit tornado or a dust devil. LOL.
 
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