Significant Tornado Events - Global Edition

buckeye05

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I'll spare TalkWeather my rant of how useless YouTube's search feature is these days, but you can find some diamonds in the rough once you use uBlock Origin to get rid of all the useless Shorts. Here's an example of such, a rather obscure video of the 2018 Ketu, Nigeria tornado (one of only two tornado videos from Nigeria that I know of, the other being the video of this same tornado on The Weather Channel article):
Nice find. Significant African tornadoes outside of South Africa do not seem to be common at all, so this is particularly interesting.
 

TH2002

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Nice find. Significant African tornadoes outside of South Africa do not seem to be common at all, so this is particularly interesting.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo likely sees tornadoes on a regular basis, including deadly ones in 2003 and 2006. This tornado was also filmed in 2007; although I can't find any reliable post-2007 reports, it is probable many tornadoes go undocumented there.

Tornadoes have also been reliably documented (and filmed) in North Africa including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. Even Egypt has had a few documented tornadoes, although they are extremely rare there with only two confirmed cases in 1981 and this weak tornado in 2006:
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I'm surprised that i haven't talked a lot about Indonesian tornadoes but this tornado family in Rancaekek, Bandung on January 11, 2019 interests me the most due to the event being likely a tornado family. received_886035439024975.jpeg
 
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Before 2011 and 2019. Rancaekek, Bandung experienced a tornado/whirlwind (dubbed as Wervelstorm). Rancaekek was first called as Rantja-Ekek by Dutch on the year of 1930s. On the year of 1933 (date still not specified), a tornado touched down in the area. It knocked down trees, left 17 homes heavily damaged and 30 other homes lost its roof. The tornado was said to kill 1 person. received_5053471971400176.jpeg
 

TH2002

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Here are some 'tornado rarities' with brief descriptions and footage (You might notice a pattern with these...)

As Tropical Storm Harvey made landfall in Belize on August 20, 2011, a tornado spawned in its outer bands would cause severe damage in the town of Crooked Tree. Trees were uprooted and snapped, power lines were downed and zinc roofing was ripped apart. A few small wooden homes were destroyed, including this one where Edward Westby and his wife miraculously escaped injury:
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Tree damage
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No published rating information is available, but this tornado may have been an F1.

Video of the tornado:


A landspout tornado touching down in a mountainous area in Bolivia in August 2011. The tornado reportedly damaged or destroyed some structures, although little information is available beyond this footage.


On November 16 of the same year, another tornado caused damage in Cochabamba. At least 20 homes were heavily damaged, some of which lost roofs and sustained partial collapse of exterior walls. The tornado was rated F0 due to the homes being poorly constructed, although an F1 rating was likely more appropriate.
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Video:


This F1 tornado touched down in Lincoln, Argentina on March 7, 2011, becoming the second tornado to affect the city during its history (the other being another F1 in October 1986). 25 homes sustained partial to complete roof loss, but fortunately there were no casualties.


On another note, La Plata (the one near Buenos Aires) has narrowly missed being hit multiple times, including on July 25, 2011 and April 2, 2013.
 
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The 50th anniversary of the 1973 San Justo F5 is coming up and new photos are being released. Some of these are very impressive.
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Some of these pictures have perhaps the most violent vehicle damage I've seen from a tornado outside of North America. Also the debarking of those trees with debris wrapped around them like that isn't something I see outside of the states very often either. And that high quality pic of the vehicle motor embedded in the concrete wall really helps with appreciating the sense of scale with that thing. Incredible.
 

MNTornadoGuy

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Some of these pictures have perhaps the most violent vehicle damage I've seen from a tornado outside of North America. Also the debarking of those trees with debris wrapped around them like that isn't something I see outside of the states very often either. And that high quality pic of the vehicle motor embedded in the concrete wall really helps with appreciating the sense of scale with that thing. Incredible.
You can also see trees that are completely debarked in some of the photos and low-level vegetation seems to have been shredded.
 

TH2002

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For a while now, during my free time I've been working on mapping out some Super Outbreak tornadoes (but that's a topic for another post) and something I informally call 'The Worldwide Tornado Documentation Project' - with a simple goal, to dig up and shed light on as many international tornadoes as possible. While there are multiple weather services around the world that keep a good tab on their tornadoes including the Japan Meteorological Agency, South African Weather Service, Trinidad and Tobago Weather Center and Italian Meteorological Service, some countries don't have the resources to properly maintain a functioning weather service - and thus many tornadoes get lost in the void unless they are documented by an international organization or photographed/filmed by an individual.

Regardless, I've managed to track down tornadoes in over 110 countries, including some exceptional occurrences:
  • Tornadoes that hit Ishango, Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2007 and Tumbaco, Ecuador in 2014 occurred approximately 9 and 15 miles south of the equator, respectively.
  • Tornadoes have occurred as far north as southern Iceland, northern Norway, the Bering Sea in Alaska and the Northwest Territories in Canada; these occurrences (along with previously mentioned tornadoes in La Rinconada, Peru) make me firmly believe that waterspouts/weak tornadoes are absolutely possible in southern Greenland, although it's one of the few places in the world where a tornado has yet to be documented.
  • The southernmost tornadoes I know of occurred in Ashburton, New Zealand and Puerto Montt, Chile; both towns have been hit at least twice.
Some notable events I've come across recently:
  • A probable tornado struck Akim Oda, Ghana on May 5, 1968. Masonry homes had their roofs ripped off and some had exterior walls partially collapsed. (source)
  • Guyana started keeping tabs on its tornadoes not too long ago, officially recording its first funnel cloud on August 16, 2019 and its first tornado on October 13, 2021. Another tornado was recorded in Black Bush Poulder on May 22, 2022. It's probable that earlier tornado events have gone unreported, nonetheless it's still great to see more countries attempting to keep track of their tornadoes. One possible example of such is a pair of twin waterspouts recorded on August 23, 2011, reportedly in Guyana (although other sources say the video is from the Bahamas, calling this into question).
  • A tornado in Oman in May 2021 (source) and a 2014 tornado in Goyang-si, South Korea (source) are some rare examples of tornadoes outside of North America and Japan being observed with radar imagery.
  • A funnel cloud and possible brief tornado formed in the northern part of San Salvador (and on the slopes of the nearby volcano of the same name) on August 20, 2013. (source)
There's many more to cover, including some in detail but I'll save those for follow up posts. On a somewhat related note, the way a lot of international news outlets classify tornadoes remains a pet-peeve of mine:
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Sawmaster

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Indonesia is one of those countries that seems to get more tornadoes than people realize. They rarely seem strong though based on the damage I’ve seen over the years.
Totally agree. Seems almost as common there as regular thunderstorms here, and that's a lot. Considering the location/ climate/ topography it's no wonder to me.
 
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