What is a tornado as Storm Ciaran hits the UK today Brighton News

Earlier this week, a tornado warning was issued for parts of southern England by The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation.

At the time of the warning, they said: “This outlook is concerned with the risk of one or two tornadoes from convection associated with the storm, especially on the cold front of the system.

“The highest risk of one or two tornadoes would likely be along and south of a line from South Wales to London, but the risk cannot be ruled out a bit further north too, hence the Watch box extending into the Midlands and East Anglia.


“Very strong gusts may accompany some of the showery activity – and occasional CG lightning is possible, most likely near the south coast. Also, the strongest cells may produce some small hail.”

They are no tornado warnings currently in place, but what is a tornado?

What is a tornado?

A tornado is formed in very unsettled weather conditions and often exists as part of severe thunderstorms.

The tornado itself is a rotating column of air that reaches between the ground and the base of a storm cloud.

The Met Office explains: “A funnel cloud usually develops as the vortex forms due to the reduced pressure in the vortex. Strong inflowing winds intensify, and the spin rate increases as the vortex stretches vertically.

“If it continues stretching and intensifying for long enough the vortex touches the ground, at which point it becomes classified as a tornado. The tornado then moves across the surface causing severe damage or destruction to objects in its path.

“A tornado typically has the form of a twisting funnel-shaped cloud between the cloud base and the ground.

“Sometimes the vortex can appear as a slender rope-like form, particularly when the tornado is weakening; sometimes a tornado can be almost invisible, observable by the debris thrown up from the surface. Tornadoes typically spin anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (cyclonically).”

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This notice was published: 2023-11-02 09:50:44

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