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A Brief History Of... Newfoundland Tornadoes.

"Climatologically, Newfoundland can expect one tornado (usually an F0) every 2 to 3 years. We are actually "overdue" now." -Rodney Barney, Environment Canada
It may not be timely for Newfoundland, given we aren't even into Summer yet, however all the talk in the Weather world these days is about Tornadoes. The Southern U.S. has been hit extremely hard this year. There's no better example of that than Joplin, Missouri.

A before and after shot of Joplin, Missouri courtesy of
The U.S. has now had over 1,110 Tornadoes so far this year. The average is 1,293 per year... and we aren't even into June yet.
Perhaps the most shocking stat, is the number of lives that have been lost. The death toll from Joplin, MO is now at 125 people. More tornadoes in Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas last night killed 11 people. That brings this years U.S. death toll to over 500. Crazy.

Here is some crazy footage shot yesterday in Oklahoma, by the TVN Storm Chasers from 

The deadliest tornado year in the U.S. on record is 1925, which had 794 deaths, according to NOAA.
Thankfully, no one has ever been killed by a Tornado in Newfoundland... not on record anyway.
Tornadoes are a pretty rare occurrence here on the Island... but not as rare as I had originally thought.
My thanks to Rodney Barney at EC, who dug up for me, the Tornadoes of the past in Newfoundland

2007 Gander Bay
2007 Grand Falls-Windor
2002 East of Gander
2000 Bishops Falls 
1998 Buchans
1996 Trinity
1992 Bishops Falls

Apart from the Trinity F2, all of these Newfoundland tornadoes would have been F0 or marginal  F1's on the Fugita Scale. The Tornado that just struck Joplin has been rated an EF5... on the 
new enhanced Fugita Scale.

It's not surprising WHERE we have witnessed Tornadoes here in Newfoundland... is in Central. That's where it's often the warmest in the summer months. For Tornadoes, you need severe weather. And for severe weather, you need fuel & energy. aka Heat... something we don't see a ton of.
Even once you have severe thunderstorms, you need things like wind shear (winds changing direction with height) and speed shear (stronger winds aloft & weaker winds at the surface) just to get tornadoes developing. 

Funnel Cloud near Trinity. Courtesy: Rodney Barney


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