Tornadoes around the world!

I think it’s safe to say that when most people think of tornadoes, they immediately think of the Great Plains of America. While the central U.S. is the undisputed tornado capital of the world, they can occur literally anywhere. There are LOTS of tornado reports every year from all over the planet. They are common in Australia, southern Asia, South America, and even Europe.

The map below, courtesy of the European Severe Weather Laboratory, shows all the tornado and funnel cloud reports in Europe between September 1 and December 6. 130 reports in all!

1 Sep – 6 Dec 2012


Admittedly, many of these reports are waterspouts that occasionally come onshore and cause damage to coastal communities and property. A great example of one of these picturesque waterspouts occurrred off the coast of Italy on December 2. Very impressive waterspout!


Other tornadic activity outside the U.S. in the past few weeks includes:

This tornado today near Auckland, New Zealand, that unfortunately took the lives of three people.

This tornado and hailstorm in Tasmania on November 9

This tornado in Japan on November 14

This tornado in Portugal on November 16. Impressive but dangerous vantage point for the cameraman as the tornado all but destroys this small soccer stadium. This person should have sought shelter instead of filming this. Way too close!

And that brings us to the amazing and violent tornado that struck Taranto, Italy on November 28. This is a small industrial city in the southeast part of the country, on the “boot heel.” This was a violent tornado in an urban setting, which is an awful combination. This first video clip is from a very close vantage point, and debris can clearly be seen being thrown about by this massive funnel. This is great footage of the structure of the tornado itself as well.

The following is another vantage point of the same massive tornado, and is easily the best tornado footage I have seen come out of Europe. If I was watching this video without any context and didn’t know any better, I would have guessed this to be from Kansas or Oklahoma. This footage, at least from the point of view of a storm chaser, is nothing short of amazing! Note the power flashes as well. This was quite a rare event.

This just goes to show that tornadoes are not a phenomenon limited only to North America. That being said, they occur with most frequency here in the central U.S., and we have the road network and terrain that is perfect for chasing! Come on a tour with us and we’ll show you the most extreme weather on the planet!

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