Monday, November 19, 2012

Portugal Gets Hit By Relatively Rare Tornado

Tornadoes are not common in Europe but they can happen from time to time.  Portugal's Algarve region, which is in the country's southern end, was hit by a tornado on Friday that brought estimated wins over 100 mph.  The footage below shows the tornado spinning through a small soccer stadium, ripping the roof off of the stadium and causing other damage.  It's pretty amazing footage.

According to Reuters, eight were injured in the storm as it moved through near the town of Lagos.

The tornado looks to have originated as a larger waterspout out in the Atlantic before coming ashore.

It isn't the first natural disaster to hit the Algarve this year -- wildfires hit this part of Portugal earlier in the summer.  Sounds similar to California, doesn't it?  Portugal's climate is very similar to that of the California coastline -- distinct wet and dry seasons, with Atlantic storms in the winter bringing the majority of the rainfall to the Iberian Peninsula.  In some cases, stronger storm systems that impact Portugal can produce a twister or two.  Another such instance of a wet season tornado occurred in December 2010.  Most of the tornadoes in the wet season in Portugal and California are caused by cold pockets of air aloft that spin down to the surface.