Weather Wise: Selsey tornado

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The Selsey tornado is the latest item in a run of freak weather that has been hitting the British Isles. Is there an underlying cause? Nobody knows.

You say tornado, I say tornardo. I blame El Nino, you blame global warming. Over the past two weeks, we have been experiencing some very strange weather indeed. The family of depressions that came across the Atlantic to deliver last weekend's high winds was deeper and more intense than had been seen for years. And now a tornado has hit us.

According to Prof Derek Elsom, head of the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation, global warming could be behind it all. "The models which look at global warming do suggest that the UK may experience shorter, sharper showers with more thunderstorms, which in turn create the conditions for tornadoes," he said yesterday. Thunderstorms are triggered by surface warmth, so global warming would encourage them.

But why has nobody yet blamed El Nino? Down there in the Pacific we have a massive puddle of warm water that is throwing the climate of the southern hemisphere into total havoc. This must have an effect on the global weather system. The trouble is that nobody knows what it is. El Nino is presumed innocent until hard evidence is produced - but I suspect it is hiding some secrets.

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