Weather: Tornado also in Italy; the CNR issues a warning. Which regions are most at risk
The violent tornado in Emilia Romagna in 2013 (source: Centrometeoemiliaromagna)HE twister are meteorological phenomena highly destructive and among all the atmospheric vortices they are the ones with the highest energy density or power released: in the Mediterranean area they represent the most violent phenomenon that can occur, even though they do not have a high frequency.
To be fair, let’s first clarify one concept: the expressions “twister” AND “twister” they’re synonyms. Therefore, it is scientifically incorrect to think that a tornado is a much stronger whirlwind: conceptually they are the same. It is preferable to use the word tornado since there is one official ranking to assess the intensity and damage produced, or the fujita scale ranging from grade 0 (weak) to grade 5 (catastrophic).
Recent studies have shown how tornadoes in the Mediterranean area and in Italy in particular they are not as rare events as one might think.
A work carried out by the Institute of Atmospheric and Climatic Sciences of the National Research Council (cnr isac), Published in Atmospheric Researchconfirmed the existence of specific areas most affected (or at risk) by strong intensity tornadoes: one of them is represented by central regions who overlook the Tyrrhenian (He straight, mostly); other particularly affected areas in Italy are the south-eastern regions (apulia/calabria) just like him po valleyas well as previous works by the same authors.
Tornadoes are becoming more frequent in Italy?
“The intensification of these phenomena, over the years, is also conditioned by ongoing climate change, confirming that there are specific forces, such as sea surface temperature, that play an important role in the development of these events. The central Tyrrhenian regions of Italy can be defined as a hot spot for tornadoes in the Mediterranean area. In this sense, 32 years of data (1990-2021) were analyzed, isolating a considerable number of high intensity tornado events (445 throughout Italy). Statistical analyzes were performed by analyzing both measurements (soundings) and large-scale model results (reanalysis), to identify the prevailing weather conditions associated with the identified tornadoes. Therefore, it was possible to define specific predominant atmospheric configurations, potentially favorable for their development in the study area.”
Over the years, the use of high-resolution forecasting weather models has allowed significant levels of insight into the dynamics of these events, which by definition are highly localized in time and space and therefore especially difficult to predict.
TO twister happened the Lazio coast on July 28, 2019sadly known to have caused the death of a person, it was chosen as a study and analyzed in detail by means of high-resolution numerical simulations (WRF limited area model), in order to better understand the dynamic characteristics and verify the predictive capacity of such a phenomenon.
“The results showed that it is possible to successfully predict high values of specific values indicators of atmospheric instability and deep convection typical of tornadoes, as well as correctly simulating the structure of the convective cells responsible for the genesis of these events. The result underscores the importance of an integrated meteorological modeling/observing system dedicated to operational monitoring and forecasting of such intense phenomena, the researcher concluded.” Tornado risk map in ItalyWhat should we expect?, Are tornadoes really coming to Italy? Currently, it is not possible to predict exactly when and where a tornado will strike, however, all studies highlight a trend towards increasing frequency off the coast of Lazio, in the Po Valley and Puglia together with summer storms and the first part of autumn. Therefore, after particularly hot periods like the one we are experiencing now and with so much energy involved, a higher probability of these phenomena associated with thunderstorms is possible, storms and hail.