2006 London tornado
|Formed||7 December 2006 11:02 GMT|
|Max rating1||F2 tornado|
|Damage||£10 million ($20 million US$)|
|Areas affected||Kensal Green, northwest London|
|1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale|
The 2006 London tornado was a significant United Kingdom tornado spawned from a squall line moving over the city on 7 December 2006 at approximately 11:02 GMT. Its intensity is estimated to have been T4 on the TORRO scale, equating to F2 on the Fujita scale.
On the morning of 7 December, the UK was under the influence of a strong Atlantic low pressure system, which was named Ulrike, bringing unstable weather conditions to much of the UK, and the south in particular. At approximately 07:30 GMT, a small band of thunderstorms initialised over Cornwall moving east-northeast across the country. By approximately 10:00 am, the squall line had reached Salisbury, where a drop in humidity was recorded, which may have resulted in an increase of atmospheric pressure behind the squall, causing it to accelerate forward. This increased motion in combination with a change in wind direction ahead of the storm may have initialised the rotation of the mesocyclone in one of the now strong storm cells, resulting in the touchdown of the T4 tornado in Kensal Rise, London, at 11 am.
The tornado struck the Kensal Green area of North-West London, sweeping through several streets over the course of under a minute, injuring 6 people, and causing moderate or severe damage to at least 100 properties. Although the main tornado was spotted in Kensal Green, the strong wind was felt across North London including St. Augustines CofE High School where part of the roof collapsed and the school had to be closed for nearly a week. It is believed to have been weaker than the Birmingham Tornado of 28 July 2005. Damages from the tornado were estimated at £10 million ($14 million US$). One man in his 50s suffered head injuries and 5 people were treated at the scene for shock.
The London Fire Brigade and structural surveyors assessed the damage and structural safety of affected properties. In the meantime, several hundred people were displaced from their homes until they had been declared safe for their occupants to return. Brent Council, speaking to a national newspaper, announced that none of the affected properties are likely to be demolished, though a total of 29 homes have been declared as unfit for habitation due to the damage caused by the tornado. A local MP is attempting to set up a relief fund for residents not covered by insurance, Brent Council rehoused 12 of the people affected.
- "December 7, 2006 pressure chart". Free University of Berlin. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Knightley, Paul (7 December 2006). "Tornadoes in the British Isles". MeteoGroup. Retrieved 11 December 2006.
- Daily Mail (7 December 2006). "Chaos and confusion as large tornado leaves hundreds homeless as Christmas approaches". Canadian Continent. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- "Tornado homes escape demolition". BBC News. 9 December 2006.