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Open AccessArticle

The Climatology of Significant Tornadoes in the Czech Republic

1
Institute of Geography, Masaryk University, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic
2
Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3
European Severe Storms Laboratory, 2700 Wiener Neustadt, Austria
4
Větřkovice 206, 747 43 Větřkovice, Czech Republic
5
Regional Museum, 412 01 Litoměřice, Czech Republic
6
Department of Meteorology and Climatology, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-680 Poznań, Poland
7
National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK 73072, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070689
Received: 1 June 2020 / Revised: 26 June 2020 / Accepted: 28 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tornadoes in Europe: Climatology, Forecasting, and Impact)
In the Czech Republic, tornadoes may reach an intensity of F2 and F3 on the Fujita scale, causing “considerable” to “severe” damage. Documentary evidence is sufficient to allow the creation of a chronology of such events, from the earliest recorded occurrence in 1119 CE (Common Era) to 2019, including a total of 108 proven or probable significant tornadoes on 90 separate days. Since only 11 significant tornadoes were documented before 1800, this basic analysis centers around the 1811–2019 period, during which 97 tornadoes were recorded. Their frequency of occurrence was at its highest in the 1921–1930, 1931–1940, and 2001–2010 decades. In terms of annual variations, they took place most frequently in July, June, and August (in order of frequency), while daily variation favored the afternoon and early evening hours. Conservative estimates of human casualties mention 8 fatalities and over 95 people injured. The most frequent types of damage were related to buildings, individual trees, and forests. Tornadoes of F2–F3 intensity were particularly associated with synoptic types characterized by airflow from the western quadrant together with troughs of low pressure extending or advancing over central Europe. Based on parameters calculated from the ERA-5 re-analysis for the period of 1979–2018, most of these tornadoes occurred over a wide range of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) values and moderate-to-strong vertical wind shear. The discussion herein also addresses uncertainties in tornado selection from documentary data, the broader context of Czech significant tornadoes, and the environmental conditions surrounding their origins.
Keywords: tornado; documentary data; tornado intensity; tornado damage; tornado fatality; spatiotemporal variability; dynamic climatology; environmental conditions; Czech Republic tornado; documentary data; tornado intensity; tornado damage; tornado fatality; spatiotemporal variability; dynamic climatology; environmental conditions; Czech Republic
MDPI and ACS Style

Brázdil, R.; Chromá, K.; Púčik, T.; Černoch, Z.; Dobrovolný, P.; Dolák, L.; Kotyza, O.; Řezníčková, L.; Taszarek, M. The Climatology of Significant Tornadoes in the Czech Republic. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 689.

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