Region has one of country’s tornado hot spots, says University of Manchester report

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An area of south Norfolk and north Suffolk is home to a ‘tornado alley’, according to a report from the University of Manchester.

The results are based on eyewitness reports, covering the United Kingdom from 1980 to 2012.

The map, part of a report from the University of Manchester, shows tornado hot spots in the United Kingdom. Source - University of Manchester. ANL-150616-162432001

The map, part of a report from the University of Manchester, shows tornado hot spots in the United Kingdom. Source - University of Manchester. ANL-150616-162432001

During that period, the country experienced an average of 34 tornadoes a year.

And it concludes that the potential twister hot spot, which runs from the north east of London towards Ipswich, venturing into parts of south Norfolk, is the third most likely place in the UK to see a tornado, between 3 and 4 per cent a year.

However, 95 per cent of the tornadoes were rarely very strong, being classified as F0 or F1, speeds of up to 112mph.

Lead author of the paper Kelsey Mulder, of the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at The University of Manchester, said: “It seems that most tornadoes in the UK are created along long, narrow storms that form along cold fronts, whereas most tornadoes in the United States are created by isolated storms, which are more similar to the beautiful supercells you see in the movie Twister.

“Even in the United States, tornadoes formed along cold fronts tend to be weaker than those formed from supercells. That could be one reason why tornadoes in the UK are much weaker. But the process for how tornadoes form along cold fronts is not yet very well understood.”