Storm investigators file full report on Pennal tornado

By Chris Betteley   |   Reporter   |
Sunday 8th May 2022 8:59 am
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A tornado last month damaged a farmhouse in Pennal
A tornado last month damaged a farmhouse in Pennal (TORRO )

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WEATHER investigators, who confirmed that a storm that hit Pennal last month was a tornado, have released their report on the weather event which lifted a ewe into the air and caused around £100,000 worth of damage to a property.

Deilwen Breese, who owns Gogarth Farm Hall, told the Cambrian News how powerful winds hit her property with “unbelievable force”.

Storm investigators from Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO) confirmed last week that the storm that hit Pennal was a T3 tornado, slightly weaker than the T4 tornado that hit Bow Street in November 2006, causing widespread damage in the south of the village including the local car dealership.

Investigators from TORRO visited Gogarth Farm and compiled a full report, which said the “strong” tornado did not last long.

“Site investigation involves mapping reported tornado tracks and carefully documenting the types of damage done,” a report said.

“Through such forensic studies, it can firstly be established whether or not the cause was in fact a tornado and secondly, if so, how strong the tornado was. Tornadoes have long been ranked in this manner, beginning in 1971 in the USA.

“We look for evidence of objects that have been lofted into violently spinning air, so that they may land in odd places, even being thrown backwards against the general wind-field on the day.

“We look for objects that have become projectiles, hurled with force into the ground.

“We look for sharp divides between severe damage and no damage, because tornadoes cut damage-swathes with almost surgical precision.

“All of these were found in abundance at Gogarth Hall Farm.

“This was clearly a powerful tornado.

“At the farmhouse there was much roof damage.

“There’s a lawn and garden in front of the south-facing gable end and broken slates and sections of guttering littered this area.

“So the slates had clearly been lifted from the roof and carried into the circulation.

“Then they were thrown back down to the ground in the opposite direction to that in which the tornado was travelling.

“This is exactly as one would expect in a violently spinning column of air.

“Whatever combination of ingredients caused the tornado, the combination did not last very long - by the time the twister crossed the A493, its width had more than halved and it clearly lost touch with the ground shortly thereafter.”

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