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Microclimates


climate change virginia

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How do microclimates work I have a vague idea of how they work I need clarification. thanks :D

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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In a very generic nutshell: shelter and warmth. 

Shelter is often in the form of canopy from vegetation. This helps with radial freezing at night. The colder air hits the the canopy of plants and dissipates slightly. It could be something as simple as a wall, that keeps the wind blocked from the north as well. 

south and east facing walls make great microclimates. They heat up the fastest and earliest in the northern hemisphere. South walls tend to stay in the sun all day. After dark, the hard surface of the walls cool off drastically slower than the air around them. Touch your sunny walls after sunset, and you will understand. 
 

concrete patios have a similar effect. As an example, my yard dropped to 22F around the patio last winter, but the coldest spots were closer to 18F. That four degrees can make the world of different for a palm. 

these are examples. Many other types of microclimates exists. This should give you a direction on what to look for, however. Good luck!

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You can find a decent definition and explanation of microclimates at these links:

https://southernlivingplants.com/plan-your-garden/what-is-a-microclimate/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microclimate

Some of the most discussed influences on local climate conditions during a freeze on this site would include:

  1. Urban heat island effect - large cities with lots of concrete stay warmer at night as the concrete releases heat.  Downtown Orlando is a good example of an area where many "out of zone" plants can be found due to urbanization mitigating radiational freezes.
  2. Large bodies of water - probably the biggest influence, especially here in Florida.  Lowers high temperature, keeps the low temperature up.  This includes large lakes and wide rivers like Lake Apopka and the St. John's river.  It helps on our side of the continent to be south to southeast of the water.
  3. Tree canopy - Tends to prevent the formation of frost and lessen radiational cooling.  In the deep south, Live oak is king.
  4. Windbreaks - Walls or sturdy hedges can cut wind speed during an advective freeze, which keeps the tissue of the plant from losing heat as fast as it would if the wind were unimpeded.
  5. Elevation/Relief - To a certain degree, elevation and relief from surrounding areas tends to help during radiational freezes as the air gets very stratified, especially in Florida.  The temperature at 25 ft. is often 5 degrees or more higher than at the standard 4-6ft. where weather observations are taken.
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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Just now, kinzyjr said:

You can find a decent definition and explanation of microclimates at these links:

https://southernlivingplants.com/plan-your-garden/what-is-a-microclimate/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microclimate

Some of the most discussed influences on local climate conditions during a freeze on this site would include:

  1. Urban heat island effect - large cities with lots of concrete stay warmer at night as the concrete releases heat.  Downtown Orlando is a good example of an area where many "out of zone" plants can be found due to urbanization mitigating radiational freezes.
  2. Large bodies of water - probably the biggest influence, especially here in Florida.  Lowers high temperature, keeps the low temperature up.  This includes large lakes and wide rivers like Lake Apopka and the St. John's river.  It helps on our side of the continent to be south to southeast of the water.
  3. Tree canopy - Tends to prevent the formation of frost and lessen radiational cooling.  In the deep south, Live oak is king.
  4. Windbreaks - Walls or sturdy hedges can cut wind speed during an advective freeze, which keeps the tissue of the plant from losing heat as fast as it would if the wind were unimpeded.
  5. Elevation/Relief - To a certain degree, elevation and relief from surrounding areas tends to help during radiational freezes as the air gets very stratified, especially in Florida.  The temperature at 25 ft. is often 5 degrees or more higher than at the standard 4-6ft. where weather observations are taken.

is dc an example of a urban heat island? and is the Potomac a large body of water for a microclimate. We have oak. My backyard has lots of windbreaks. I live on a hill. Is my house a good microclimate?

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"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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2 minutes ago, climate change virginia said:

is dc an example of a urban heat island? and is the Potomac a large body of water for a microclimate. We have oak. My backyard has lots of windbreaks. I live on a hill. Is my house a good microclimate?

  1. Is DC an example of an Urban Heat Island (UHI)? Yes.
  2. Is the Potomac a large body of water for a microclimate? Yes.
  3. We have oak, windbreaks, live on a hill.  Is my house a good microclimate?  Given that set of conditions, it is very likely that it is.

Hope you don't mind me paraphrasing a bit and bolding the answers.  It helps me ensure I provide my opinion on each of your points without missing anything.

Do you have weather stations close by to compare the weather records in the area? 

Weather underground is usually helpful in this regard.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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image.thumb.jpg.0948768b85f4faf3b4d01891ddf8c221.jpg
Here in Northern Virginia a have what I think is a microclimate in my back yard...it consists of a four foot high, gradually sloping embankment that faces south and toward the back of my rambler. The roof line of the house is low enough that even in the dead of winter, it soaks up an enormous amount of the sun’s energy. I capitalize on that by laying frost cloth around the bases of my palms...all I have are located in this area...the frost cloth really draws in the sun’s heat and transfers it into the soil to be released at night. This part of the yard is also the fastest area to melt any snow that falls...the front of my house is the same with an 8’ high brick wall that soaks up the sun all day long. It’s also the only place I’ve seen garten snakes so they like it there, too. Considering a seed grown Sabal Minor for the front since I’ve exhausted all the space I have in my microclimate space in the back.

image.thumb.jpg.d4682f90354ddbe970e765dda50fae6b.jpg
 

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I also live 500ft away from a lake so would that be any better?

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

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  • 1 year later...

I just planted a small Phoenix Canariensis in a spot with a very good microclimate in my area. Will not protect it and see if the urban heat island plus microclimate stuff works. :D

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On 10/25/2020 at 3:30 PM, climate change virginia said:

I also live 500ft away from a lake so would that be any better?

Depends how big the lake is and to some degree, wind direction.

One thing you can do is walk the property on a morning with heavy

frost and look and see if there are areas in the yard where you don't see

frost, south side, east side next to the house or brick wall etc, etc.

Where I live south and east are always good spots and.... even on a calm night

there is "drift" in the atmosphere usually from the west to east and I have seen this play

out in a larger area on the east side of the house being frost free.

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  • 9 months later...

@Hortulanus

Both the small Canariensis from the post above and a few 2022 Dactylifera seedlings survived this winter unprotected in an outdoors microclimate spot. Low according to my nearest urban weather station was -4 C to -5 C this winter. I think the low for this winter has been set. Kinda cool, they have zero damage surprisingly. 

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Based off the major freeze that we had last week, I have put together an approximate temperature map for the London area. These are the coldest January temperatures in 36 years that have been mapped. Obviously the London metropolitan zone is a very big area, so there is roughly a 7C / 15F difference between central London and the far northwestern suburbs of the capital. Basically there are many, many different microclimates within the city. The majority of the CIDP for instance are confined to the -6C and under area.

Parts of far northwest London out near Watford went down to -9C as they are further inland from the coast, right on the edge of the urban heat island (UHI), slightly higher elevation and more susceptible to cold waves from the north. On the flip side, central London is right in the heart of the UHI, which can easily offer about 5-6C of protection. The density of concrete, buildings and houses means a lot of heat being released and bigger buildings/skyscrapers also help to inhibit cold air from punching through. It's very well protected.

There is also a microclimate in east London too as it is closer to the coast and along the Thames estuary, which further moderates temperatures. Consequently east London is significantly warmer than west London in winter, although the opposite is true in summer. There is also a sharp drop off, or gradient, in north London temperatures, going from fairly cold, to fairly mild across a smaller area. South London however is more balanced with similar temperatures across a larger area and less extreme cold on the southern outskirts.

1504919812_Screenshot2023-01-23at23_13_593.thumb.jpeg.f8c1276941d15852bad2c2ab14d83008.jpeg

 

This map won't be 100% accurate and just gives a rough guideline of street level temperatures, based off similar figures for one individual freeze recently. It does show the approximate temperatures during the coldest January night in 36 years and the coldest night overall in 13 years for west London especially. However during the February 2018 freeze event, many places would have seen temperatures that are 2C colder than those shown above, especially in the northern suburbs and parts of south London.

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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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A microclimate can be caused by the features of the landscape(mountains/valley/slope of land) and a yard in a bowl can create a microclimate within a microclimate.  Both airports under 10 miles of yard, meanwhile yard is nearly windless and much warmer at the same time.

Screenshot_20230123-151257.png

Screenshot_20230123-151105.png

20230129194733.jpg

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1 hour ago, UK_Palms said:

Based off the major freeze that we had last week, I have put together an approximate temperature map for the London area. These are the coldest January temperatures in 36 years that have been mapped. Obviously the London metropolitan zone is a very big area, so there is roughly a 7C / 15F difference between central London and the far northwestern suburbs of the capital. Basically there are many, many different microclimates within the city. The majority of the CIDP for instance are confined to the -6C and under area.

Parts of far northwest London out near Watford went down to -9C as they are further inland from the coast, right on the edge of the urban heat island (UHI), slightly higher elevation and more susceptible to cold waves from the north. On the flip side, central London is right in the heart of the UHI, which can easily offer about 5-6C of protection. The density of concrete, buildings and houses means a lot of heat being released and bigger buildings/skyscrapers also help to inhibit cold air from punching through. It's very well protected.

There is also a microclimate in east London too as it is closer to the coast and along the Thames estuary, which further moderates temperatures. Consequently east London is significantly warmer than west London in winter, although the opposite is true in summer. There is also a sharp drop off, or gradient, in north London temperatures, going from fairly cold, to fairly mild across a smaller area. South London however is more balanced with similar temperatures across a larger area and less extreme cold on the southern outskirts.

1504919812_Screenshot2023-01-23at23_13_593.thumb.jpeg.f8c1276941d15852bad2c2ab14d83008.jpeg

 

This map won't be 100% accurate and just gives a rough guideline of street level temperatures, based off similar figures for one individual freeze recently. It does show the approximate temperatures during the coldest January night in 36 years and the coldest night overall in 13 years for west London especially. However during the February 2018 freeze event, many places would have seen temperatures that are 2C colder than those shown above, especially in the northern suburbs and parts of south London.

The area around Bank and monument didn't go below -1c/30f in the last freeze which is the warmest part of London but that map is a rough estimate so it's fairly accurate. I know in north west London there's a few large lakes and in south west London that helps keep the near by areas slightly warmer.  Also some of the -3c areas on that map only went to -2c but again only the denser parts as within those -3c areas on the map there that are more built up areas with high rise buildings that would keep it milder. For people who don't live in London you can be next to a park and it got down to -3c and go a few streets down of dense houses and it only got to -2c.

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For microclimates in a garden the best things are concrete, stone or masonry escpially in the summer for climates such as London, as the heat radiates and can easily make temperatures 3-5c higher on sunny days and 1c higher in the winter. In the winter ponds and the best since water has the best thermal heat capacity of anything however if you are in a cold climate it could freeze over making it useless. But here they never freeze so it's the best thing to raise the temperature by 1-2c at night during the winter. Evergreen tree canopy is also good and planting things halfway on a south facing slope for the northern hemisphere. Having trees as a windbreak is also good but here the houses do that so anyway. Mulching can also slightly help and planting things densely together. If you have part of you're pond covered by evergreen trees the heat released from the pond will escape slower than without the tree and help warm the area even more, that's one example of using two things working together to make a good microclimate.

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On 1/29/2023 at 3:30 PM, Zeni said:

@Hortulanus

Both the small Canariensis from the post above and a few 2022 Dactylifera seedlings survived this winter unprotected in an outdoors microclimate spot. Low according to my nearest urban weather station was -4 C to -5 C this winter. I think the low for this winter has been set. Kinda cool, they have zero damage surprisingly. 

My small P. canariensis is also looking good. We'll eventually see in spring. You can't ever really tell up until spring comes around. What's weird is that when we had that cold spell in December 2022 the plant looked completely untouched and now after this cold, but not brutally cold period recently it has some brown tips. But very very small brown tips! I'm still in awe how the Canariensis fared in December compared to many other supposedly hardier plants.

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17 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

Based off the major freeze that we had last week, I have put together an approximate temperature map for the London area. These are the coldest January temperatures in 36 years that have been mapped. Obviously the London metropolitan zone is a very big area, so there is roughly a 7C / 15F difference between central London and the far northwestern suburbs of the capital. Basically there are many, many different microclimates within the city. The majority of the CIDP for instance are confined to the -6C and under area.

Parts of far northwest London out near Watford went down to -9C as they are further inland from the coast, right on the edge of the urban heat island (UHI), slightly higher elevation and more susceptible to cold waves from the north. On the flip side, central London is right in the heart of the UHI, which can easily offer about 5-6C of protection. The density of concrete, buildings and houses means a lot of heat being released and bigger buildings/skyscrapers also help to inhibit cold air from punching through. It's very well protected.

There is also a microclimate in east London too as it is closer to the coast and along the Thames estuary, which further moderates temperatures. Consequently east London is significantly warmer than west London in winter, although the opposite is true in summer. There is also a sharp drop off, or gradient, in north London temperatures, going from fairly cold, to fairly mild across a smaller area. South London however is more balanced with similar temperatures across a larger area and less extreme cold on the southern outskirts.

1504919812_Screenshot2023-01-23at23_13_593.thumb.jpeg.f8c1276941d15852bad2c2ab14d83008.jpeg

 

This map won't be 100% accurate and just gives a rough guideline of street level temperatures, based off similar figures for one individual freeze recently. It does show the approximate temperatures during the coldest January night in 36 years and the coldest night overall in 13 years for west London especially. However during the February 2018 freeze event, many places would have seen temperatures that are 2C colder than those shown above, especially in the northern suburbs and parts of south London.

Nerdy maps like this one are very nice! I also thought about documenting and mapping climate just in the immediate surroundings in- and outside of my city. When I think about how microclimates even within microclimates form and how different temperatures all over my rather small garden (for American city standards) can be I can imagine that even in that -5°C range on the map there are many many many spots that have been 2-4°C warmer than -5°C.

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16 hours ago, Hortulanus said:

My small P. canariensis is also looking good. We'll eventually see in spring. You can't ever really tell up until spring comes around. What's weird is that when we had that cold spell in December 2022 the plant looked completely untouched and now after this cold, but not brutally cold period recently it has some brown tips. But very very small brown tips! I'm still in awe how the Canariensis fared in December compared to many other supposedly hardier plants.

I might have celebrated too soon. End of current 14 day projection says frost will come back. 😞 🙏

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3 hours ago, Zeni said:

I might have celebrated too soon. End of current 14 day projection says frost will come back. 😞 🙏

For now here it doesn't, but it still can happen in February and because of sudden stratospheric warming a cold blast is not completely unlikely. But for now at least here the long term forecast looks good with drier and warmer weather. You can't really tell anyway especially not during this time of the year. If it comes back to you it might not be that bad. How cold is it supposed to get?

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11 minutes ago, Hortulanus said:

For now here it doesn't, but it still can happen in February and because of sudden stratospheric warming a cold blast is not completely unlikely. But for now at least here the long term forecast looks good with drier and warmer weather. You can't really tell anyway especially not during this time of the year. If it comes back to you it might not be that bad. How cold is it supposed to get?

-1 C lows projected, but these -8 C nights sometimes surprisingly come after a few -1/-2 C low days. We shall see. Probably nothing major will happen.

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4 hours ago, Zeni said:

-1 C lows projected, but these -8 C nights sometimes surprisingly come after a few -1/-2 C low days. We shall see. Probably nothing major will happen.

This always depends on the overall weather patterns. I don't think that you're going to get -8°C just because there is some -1°C in 2 weeks. Here frost is not even on the chart in the overall trend doesn't suggest it, so I would stay calm. You just have to always be aware that anything still can happen in February in general.

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1 hour ago, Hortulanus said:

This always depends on the overall weather patterns. I don't think that you're going to get -8°C just because there is some -1°C in 2 weeks. Here frost is not even on the chart in the overall trend doesn't suggest it, so I would stay calm. You just have to always be aware that anything still can happen in February in general.

I have seen some indications it could get to around 0c a couple nights in mid February in London which would mean even colder temperatures for the Netherlands since that's hinting at cold from the East. Hopefully that doesn't happen. It is annoying though that western Europe around the east of the UK, Germany and the Netherlands don't have mountain ranges to block out cold from the East. From here to Russia it's flat ground other than the north sea 

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1 hour ago, Foxpalms said:

I have seen some indications it could get to around 0c a couple nights in mid February in London which would mean even colder temperatures for the Netherlands since that's hinting at cold from the East. Hopefully that doesn't happen. It is annoying though that western Europe around the east of the UK, Germany and the Netherlands don't have mountain ranges to block out cold from the East. From here to Russia it's flat ground other than the north sea 

I haven't seen anything predicting temperatures lower than 1°C for Düsseldorf and Cologne. The only thing I can see is a cold creeping into Northern Russia and with that the possibility of it expanding towards the West if wind flows change. But for now it looks like we might get a high pressure system that could protect us from that... - if it's strong enough. And yep it's true that we're not having any high mountains protecting us from Eastern winds but one major benefit we have in Düsseldorf, sitting in the Cologne Bay is that we actually have a mountain range directly to the East of us. That's one of the main reasons why very often during cold blasts our temperatures even outside of the UHI are higher than further West in some parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. While this is the microclimate thread I might as well just go on an excursion and explain our microclimate a bit...

You can't see the urbanised areas and where the cities border but you can get a gist of why this area has such a great microclimate even though it's on the continental inland and about 150km away from the sea. Other physical effects play a role as well, plus we also have Western winds and mostly influence from the Atlantic. And of course the UHI effect that plays a big role, because this area is very populous and urbanised. I live in the Southern outskirts of Düsseldorf, so just somewhere in the middle between the Düsseldorf and the Cologne dots. The official weather station of Düsseldorf is located at the Düsseldorf International Airport in the North-West of the city. This part of the city is rather sparsely populated and also already more exposed to Eastern winds and from my observation it looks like its also a cold pocket, because cold winds seem to run down from the Northern, more flat parts of the mountains. This makes measurements and predictions about most parts of the city pretty unreliable and of course way colder in winter and in summer. As I only found out recently there is actually a new official second weather station in the middle of the city. Sadly there aren't any records available yet and it's also not included in any weather report. I hope that'll change in the future. I hope they add another one in the South of the city, because it looks like the South is even warmer than the city centre for some reason I haven't figured out yet. The Rhine river itself also plays a big role in our climate here. Due to the UHI with cities above the mountain range we get another big influence on our climate. Even though Düsseldorf isn't as big as London or Paris, large cities pile up here, bordering eachother and thus creating a huge UHI with a population of over 11 Million! people. As I just found out in this forum not many people a familiar with this subject and I think that's also because a country's climate in Europe is often judged/seen in a very superficial way. While the UK for example has also many different climates I think Germany is one of the worst climates to generalise. That's why I also hate some average temperature estimations after a month or a year or country wide predictions, because Germany is located literally in the middle of Europe, dividing it into the Western oceanic climate and the Eastern continental climate at its base but adding to this many Many MANY! other smaller climate zones plus all the microclimates. Germany is bordering Scandinavia with a coastline of the North AND the Baltic sea. We have many mountains spread out into many different regions all over the country and we're also having the Alps! So whenever there is an average temperature for a certain year it includes ALL of that which doesn't make sense to me, because other than political borders it's not based on any scientific frame like at least something like the British Isles or the Iberian peninsula. I might as well end my exursion here LOl and I also think about making a seperate thread about it:
Kbbucht.png.34f23d3af0c6aa86fb7ec5d7b4dfbb11.png

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On 1/31/2023 at 3:49 PM, Hortulanus said:

Eastern continental climate

Does Germany have Tornadoes?  Or any other part of Europe?  North America east of the rockies gets terrible Tornadoes and I think China and Mongolia also.

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44 minutes ago, Banana Belt said:

Does Germany have Tornadoes?  Or any other part of Europe?  North America east of the rockies gets terrible Tornadoes and I think China and Mongolia also.

Occasionally.  https://youtu.be/WFRXZ_a28Gk https://youtu.be/X2_lhaAOjds.     https://youtu.be/6Eq3Kuyc6Tw https://youtu.be/QVApWBwNR-     U.https://youtu.be/IuornMt9ie0 We get some in the UK but not strong tornados other parts of Europe have stronger tornados.

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1 hour ago, Banana Belt said:

Does Germany have Tornadoes?  Or any other part of Europe?  North America east of the rockies gets terrible Tornadoes and I think China and Mongolia also.

Germany gets tornadoes but aren't as destructive like you would see in the U.S. . There was an EF2 in Paderborn (I grew up there) that caused some significant damage but those kind of tornadoes are very rare to find in Germany.  

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Tornadoes appear to be a lot less common nowadays in western Europe especially the UK. There were quite a few bad ones in Medieval times that killed scores of people, even here in the UK. I think one killed like 300 people in the 1400's and one in London in 1071 wrecked havoc, killing folk, tearing down churches and it would have been considered an F4 today apparently. The last major one over here was in Birmingham in 2006 I think, but they are definitely less common today.

My theory as to why they are less common now is due to us having higher pressure systems nowadays, more frequently, and especially in summer meaning less rainfall overall, consequently meaning less summer storms. This follows the trend of drier summers that I have been highlighting. Less potential for tornadoes basically. I was going to move down to Selsey on the south coast of Sussex, but I have been put off as they had a tornado there in 1998 and another back in the 70's as well.

The last major, major tornado in Europe was during the dodgy infamous 2021 summer that was ravaged by storms. Germany had an F2, as did Poland, however the Czech Republic got smashed by an F4 I believe killing quite a few people and doing billions in damage. The footage was incredible. Like something out of a war zone. Trees were ripped down, cars flung over a mile. Trains thrown about like toys. There were explosions. Nobody had shelters or anything so they just had to hide away in their homes and ride it out.

This first video is insane and they didn't even take a direct hit.

 

Edited by UK_Palms
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Dry-summer Oceanic climate (9a)

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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2 hours ago, Banana Belt said:

Does Germany have Tornadoes?  Or any other part of Europe?  North America east of the rockies gets terrible Tornadoes and I think China and Mongolia also.

Yes. They are becoming more common and also more severe. As well in other parts of Europe. I think Italy also had some bigger ones (European standards) in the last couple of years. I believe that most of them didn't happen in the Eastern climate though.

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42 minutes ago, UK_Palms said:

Tornadoes appear to be a lot less common nowadays in western Europe especially the UK. There were quite a few bad ones in Medieval times that killed scores of people, even here in the UK. I think one killed like 300 people in the 1400's and one in London in 1071 wrecked havoc, killing folk, tearing down churches and it would have been considered an F4 today apparently. The last major one over here was in Birmingham in 2006 I think, but they are definitely less common today.

My theory as to why they are less common now is due to us having higher pressure systems nowadays, more frequently, and especially in summer meaning less rainfall overall, consequently meaning less summer storms. This follows the trend of drier summers that I have been highlighting. Less potential for tornadoes basically. I was going to move down to Selsey on the south coast of Sussex, but I have been put off as they had a tornado there in 1998 and another back in the 70's as well.

The last major, major tornado in Europe was during the dodgy infamous 2021 summer that was ravaged by storms. Germany had an F2, as did Poland, however the Czech Republic got smashed by an F4 I believe killing quite a few people and doing billions in damage. The footage was incredible. Like something out of a war zone. Trees were ripped down, cars flung over a mile. Trains thrown about like toys. There were explosions. Nobody had shelters or anything so they just had to hide away in their homes and ride it out.

This first video is insane and they didn't even take a direct hit.

 

I feel like they are becoming more common like any other extreme weather event. Or maybe they're not more common but bigger now due to more energy going into them and that's why they become more apparent in the media.

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4 minutes ago, Hortulanus said:

I feel like they are becoming more common like any other extreme weather event. Or maybe they're not more common but bigger now due to more energy going into them and that's why they become more apparent in the media.

The ones in the UK only really occur around late August or September because that's when we have summer thunderstorms storms with low pressure. The rest of the summer is mainly dominated by high pressure. Maybe not here but in other parts of Europe they do seem stronger but at the same time less common than they once were.

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7 minutes ago, Foxpalms said:

The ones in the UK only really occur around late August or September because that's when we have summer thunderstorms storms with low pressure. The rest of the summer is mainly dominated by high pressure. Maybe not here but in other parts of Europe they do seem stronger but at the same time less common than they once were.

I don't think we ever had one in my area. Not that I can recall. I think there is more to them than just low pressure weather. I also think places far inland are way more prone to such events than oceanic areas.

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Where I'm at in Indiana, we have tornadoes every year.  Most are minor but we'll usually see a significant outbreak only once every decade or so. I was a kid during the Super Outbreak (one of the most studied tornado events ever). This clip shows two of the most well-documented videos of the event. Parker City is about 10 miles from where I live. Big outbreaks still happen here in the States but the bullseye for shear numbers of tornadoes is shifting out of the plains and slightly east to the Mississippi River Valley, Southern US and Midwest. Who knows how much things will change and intensify with climate change...? My winters have gotten significantly warmer over the past couple of decades.

 

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Our biggest threat isn't predicted. It's never known until it's upon us. It has the potential to be a destructive killer.

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Tornado alley has definitely shifted more towards the East. And we used to not see any severe weather during the Winter and now we had our second Winter with several Tornadoes. Typically it's Spring for us. Temperatures have increased overall too. There are more isolated extreme weather events. Instead of long lasting periods of cold in the winter, you get one big extreme event. We might have had our lowest amount of snow in a long time, at least here where I live. 

@Quasarecho That Tornado outbreak in 1974 completely leveled the exact spot where our house now stands. 

 

 

 

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"Canada probably gets more tornadoes than any other country with the exception of the United States. Southwestern Ontario and parts of the southern Prairies are most often struck. Most tornadoes occur in June and July and although their season extends from April to September, they can occur at any time of year."

"Canada has never had an F-5 tornado. Of Canadian tornadoes, 45 percent are F-0, 29 percent are F-1, 21 percent are F-2, four percent are F-3 and just one percent are F-4. "

The above is directly taken from the Government of Canada website.

The Canadian version of Tornado Alley is probably in Southwestern Ontario between Windsor and Barrie.  I have had the pleasure of having to ride a few out in the basement.  I ended up driving through the storm containing one on my commute home from work one day.  I don't remember hearing any warnings, I would've stayed put if I had known.  It was pretty terrifying and it was only an EF1.

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2 hours ago, bgifford said:

Tornado alley has definitely shifted more towards the East. And we used to not see any severe weather during the Winter and now we had our second Winter with several Tornadoes. Typically it's Spring for us. Temperatures have increased overall too. There are more isolated extreme weather events. Instead of long lasting periods of cold in the winter, you get one big extreme event. We might have had our lowest amount of snow in a long time, at least here where I live. 

@Quasarecho That Tornado outbreak in 1974 completely leveled the exact spot where our house now stands. 

 

 

 

 

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I enjoy the warmer climate here. I can grow Needles which I don't think would have been possible 50 years ago. 

The 74 Super Outbreak did cover a good bit of real estate from the Gulf to southern Ontario. Most F5 twisters in a day with 6 occurring. Another 24 were F4 rated.

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