What is the most Tornado prone area in the world

Dec 8, 2003
Leicester, England
In 1973 Dr. Fujita published a paper that suggested that the most tornado prone area in the world was the United Kingdom . This was based on the number of tornados reported over a given surface area within any given year and included tornados of all intensities. Personally I am not too sure how Dr. Fujita obtained this numbers back in 1973 (due to the then relative lack of Tornado Research going on in the UK) and I have lost my link to this paper and have been unable to find it so that you can read it too.

32 years later I see that many news and media sites still quote that the UK is the most tornado prone area but as we all know research in many countries has moved on. Our 30 year Average is currently running at 33 / year ~ but due to the explosion in reported and investigated / confirmed over the last 10 years this figure will likely be upgraded.

I still think that Oklahoma is the most tornado prone area, but the last five years average have lead me to believe that this is perhaps not the case. (Bear in mid that Fujita was looking at USA record from 1952)

Does any one know of any research that is being carried out into this worldwide ~ I hear that New Zealand may also be a close candidate for tornados / area and well as Holland in Europe.

Regarding Supercells. There is no dought IMO that the USA experiences more of these than any where else on Earth.
Quickly skipping over books, New Zealand experience 30 Tornadoes in an average year. Most or these are in the North Island and west coast. This info though was recorded up to 1975, so given the fact that communication (email) is alot better now I would presume this number would be larger,

Also too note New Zealanders attitude toward weather is very different to that of America, only late last year did the Metserive starte providing a Severe Convection/ Thunderstorm Outlook
I'm not basing this on any scientific papers or anything, just some personal opinions.

It makes since that back in the 70's the UK would see many reports. There must be a huge population bias. Very few tornadoes in the UK would go unreported due to the relatively dense population. While in the Great Plains many tornadoes were never seen. There was a radar network, but it was probably inadequate.

Just after the new Denver International Airport opened they realized they built the airport in the most hail prone location in the country. Of course, there are more hail prone areas in America, there is just no weather data being collected there.

With the proliferation of storm chasers I am confident that very few tornadoes in the US go unreported. I think in a few years the data will confirm that the plains still rule.
Interesting question, and I'm sure it has a lot to do with the size of the landmass involved and some math ... BUT ... I would ask this:

In the U.K. how many truly chaseable days will a chaser have during peak season where they can reasonably expect to intercept a tornado within a given radius of their target location?

I think we'd be surprised how high that number would be in the plains.

For instance - during peak season of a normal year, a chaser can expect to chase at LEAST twice a week I would say (which is probably a low figure during the last two weeks in May, when sometimes chasers end up chasing every other day and sometimes even every day!). The days that I go out I can reasonably expect there will BE tornadoes somewhere within a given radius of my location, whether I personally manage to intercept them or not. The question just ends up being how big that radius is ... like today. I could have driven 300 miles and tornadoes would have been within maybe 50 miles of my location, give or take (depending on my ability to target). In Great Brittain, you do not have that luxury. The land does not extend out far enough to increase such chances. In the plains, the area of land that is located in a favorable environment is infinitely larger, so the corresponding chance increases dramatically. A lot of people live in the heart of the Alley and go their entire lives without ever seeing ONE tornado ... I had a guy tell me last night that he regards the existence of tornadoes the same way he regards God ... he believes that both exist, but it's hard to truly believe unless and until he finally sees each. I thought that was interesting.

Hope you understand what I mean (wait a tick ... I don't really) ... anyway ... I don't think a chaser in the U.K. has the same chance as one here ... if your landmass was four times the size it is ... then you would have a 4x greater chance of the atmosphere interacting with the environment to produce a tornado than you currently do.

So maybe strictly mathematically speaking, Fujita was correct ... BUT ... as we all know ... if you want to chase a tornado, there's only one place in the world that will really get the job done. Otherwise, I think we'd be seeing a lot more pics out of the U.K. in our report threads ... :)
Originally posted by Stuart Robinson
The BBC has some images of the tornadoes that occured across the county of Cambridge, England last monday 30th May. Jowever This link will update some with some new weather images soon and I dont want to upset the BBC by just pasting the images so take a peek now!


Seems like somewhere I have recently run across some photos of these taken from different angles by other photographers as well (was it another thread in here maybe?). In any event, very cool. Looks very Colorado landspout-ish. Certainly not something a person typically thinks of when considering of the English countryside.

(And sorry for getting off topic, but just for the record, I think BBC World News blows away anything here in the States ... I'll watch it over CNN just about any day of the week ... I find myself visiting their website for news as much or more than anyone else too ... seems as though it's more objective than anything here.)