UK Tornadoes Most Likely to Strike Those Living Just West of London

By Gary Cutlack on at

A team from the University of Manchester has some bad news for people down south, claiming that tornadoes are most likely to strike those living in the calm commuter belt between Reading and London.

The team added up all the tornadoes spotted in the UK over a 32 year period. Their conclusion is that there's a "6 per cent chance per year of a tornado occurring within 10km of a given location" in the west-of-london zone, although, to make the maths a bit harder, they also say that this should be considered a "one in 17-year event."

So there's a six per cent chance of something happening once every 17 years. If you multiply 17 by 6 you get 102, so that must mean... no that's not right.

Anyway. Bristol to Birmingham is the other place you're likely to get a video of some bins going flying with the potential to go viral on YouTube, with May to October the most likely time frame for exciting twisty clouds to do something bad to our decaying Victorian chimney pots and overloaded guttering.

We're lucky that we only see tornadoes gusting up to F2 category in the UK with maximum wind speeds of 157mph, although Kelsey Mulder from the uni's earth and environmental sciences team says: "F2 tornadoes are still quite strong and are perfectly capable of causing damage and injury. For example, there was the twister that hit Birmingham in 2005 that caused 19 injuries and £40m of damage. Because tornadoes are capable of causing such damage, it is important that we have some kind of idea where they are most likely to hit." [UoM via Guardian]

Image credit: Ruined house from Shutterstock