Abstract

The last comprehensive statistics of tornadoes in northern Eurasia (NE) were published more than 30 years ago. This paper introduces a new database of tornadoes in NE that spans from the tenth century to 2016. The database, compiled using various sources, contains 2879 tornado cases over land and water and includes tornado characteristics. Tornadoes are common for most regions of NE, with a density reaching four cases per 104 km2 in 1900–2016 in some regions. Tornadoes over land have distinct annual and diurnal cycles: they form mostly in May–August, with a maximum in June, and during daytime, with a maximum at 1700–1800 local time. Waterspouts form in all months with a maximum in late summer and mostly at 0900–1300 local time. Most tornadoes are weak and short lived. The Fujita-scale intensity is ≤F1 for 80% and ≥F3 for 3% out of all rated tornadoes. Half last less than 10 min. The average annual number of all tornadoes over land is around 150, including 10 and 2 tornadoes with ≥F2 and ≥F3 intensity, respectively. Annually, 1–2 tornadoes lead to casualties and result in 2.9 fatalities and 36.3 injuries. Despite the incompleteness of the dataset, our results show that tornadoes in NE, although being rare, are not as extremely rare as has been thought before. The results illustrate the substantial underestimation of tornado threat by the general public, researchers, and meteorologists, and unambiguously indicate the need for systematic assessments and forecasting of tornadoes by national weather services.

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