Tornadoes in Europe: Synthesis of the Observational Datasets

Bogdan Antonescu Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

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David M. Schultz Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

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Fiona Lomas Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

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Thilo Kühne European Severe Storms Laboratory, Wessling, Germany

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Abstract

A synthesis of tornado observations across Europe between 1800 and 2014 is used to produce a pan-European climatology. Based on regional tornado-occurrence datasets and articles published in peer-reviewed journals, the evolution and the major contributions to tornado databases for 30 European countries were analyzed. Between 1800 and 2014, 9563 tornadoes were reported in Europe with an increase from 8 tornadoes per year between 1800 and 1850 to 242 tornadoes per year between 2000 and 2014. The majority of the reports came from northern, western, and southern Europe, and to a lesser extent from eastern Europe where tornado databases were developed after the 1990s. Tornadoes occur throughout the year with a maximum in June–August for most of Europe and in August–November for southern Europe. Tornadoes occur more frequently between 1300 and 1500 UTC over most of Europe and between 0900 and 1100 UTC over southern Europe. Where intensity was known, 74.7% of tornadoes were classified as F0 and F1, 24.5% as F2 and F3, and 0.8% as F4 and F5. Comparing this intensity distribution over Europe with the intensity distribution for tornadoes in the United States shows that tornadoes over western and eastern Europe are more likely to be supercellular tornadoes and those over northern and southern Europe are likely to also include nonsupercellular tornadoes.

Denotes Open Access content.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Publisher’s Note: This article was revised on 22 June 2016 to include the CCBY license that was added after initial publication.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Bogdan Antonescu, Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Simon Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom. E-mail: bogdan.antonescu@manchester.ac.uk

This article is included in the Review articles in Monthly Weather Review special collection.

Abstract

A synthesis of tornado observations across Europe between 1800 and 2014 is used to produce a pan-European climatology. Based on regional tornado-occurrence datasets and articles published in peer-reviewed journals, the evolution and the major contributions to tornado databases for 30 European countries were analyzed. Between 1800 and 2014, 9563 tornadoes were reported in Europe with an increase from 8 tornadoes per year between 1800 and 1850 to 242 tornadoes per year between 2000 and 2014. The majority of the reports came from northern, western, and southern Europe, and to a lesser extent from eastern Europe where tornado databases were developed after the 1990s. Tornadoes occur throughout the year with a maximum in June–August for most of Europe and in August–November for southern Europe. Tornadoes occur more frequently between 1300 and 1500 UTC over most of Europe and between 0900 and 1100 UTC over southern Europe. Where intensity was known, 74.7% of tornadoes were classified as F0 and F1, 24.5% as F2 and F3, and 0.8% as F4 and F5. Comparing this intensity distribution over Europe with the intensity distribution for tornadoes in the United States shows that tornadoes over western and eastern Europe are more likely to be supercellular tornadoes and those over northern and southern Europe are likely to also include nonsupercellular tornadoes.

Denotes Open Access content.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Publisher’s Note: This article was revised on 22 June 2016 to include the CCBY license that was added after initial publication.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Bogdan Antonescu, Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Simon Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom. E-mail: bogdan.antonescu@manchester.ac.uk

This article is included in the Review articles in Monthly Weather Review special collection.

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