Articles | Volume 26
07 Jul 2010
 | 07 Jul 2010

Tornado activity in Greece within the 20th century

P. T. Nastos and J. T. Matsangouras

Abstract. Tornado activity is associated with extreme convective weather which can cause extended damage and even in some cases the loss of life. The complex inland terrain of Greece along with the Ionian Sea at the west and the Aegean Sea at the east appear to be a favorable area for fury phenomena such as tornadoes, waterspouts and funnel clouds.

In this study, the spatial and temporal variability of tornado activity in Greece for the period 1900–1999 are presented. The spatial distribution of tornadoes, waterspouts and funnel clouds reveals the vulnerability of specific geographical areas, such as the west Greece and the south Aegean Sea. As far as the intra annual variability is concerned, the maximum of tornado activity dominates within the cold period of the year (October–March) while according to the daily distribution, tornadoes happen frequently during the warm hours of the day. It is remarkable to mention that in Greece, within the 20th century, the tornado activity caused the loss of 4 lifes, the injury of 40 people and numerous damages on human constructions and cultivations.