Severe winds, tornado wreaks havoc in Marne, France

Severe winds, tornado wreaks havoc in Marne, France

An intense storm accompanied by tornadoes and strong winds hit parts of France on April 29, 2018. Significant material damage was reported in three villages in the department of Marne.

According to L'Union, identical phenomena were also reported in Aube and Ardennes departments and orange alert for severe weather conditions was put in place.

The storm formed on April 29, as the warm air coming up from the south towards Alsace and a colder mass coming from the Atlantic merged.

Spring is favorable to this kind of hot and cold air encounters. A week ago, France was enjoying summer temperatures but on May 1, snow fell in Normandy area.

"We are in a situation where during the same day, it was 10 °C (50 °F) in Normandy and 25 °C (77 °F) in Strasbourg", describes Frédéric Decker, a meteorologist at Météo News. Very strong contrasts, more likely to be created in the middle of a season like spring than in the middle of winter.

"On average, we have four or five (tornadoes) a year," continues Decker. "But the number can fluctuate enormously from one year to the next."

No official wind speed measurements could be made in the Marne, but the notable damage - collapsed buildings, roofs and uprooted trees - makes it possible to affirm that the gusts reached locally between 150 and 200 km/h (93 - 124 mph). Three people were injured when a tree fell on their car.

Featured image: ChroniquesChaotiques YouTube video

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