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Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes hit France

bihucourt tornado october 23 2022 by robin g

Strong thunderstorms affected large parts of France on October 23, 2022, producing violent wind gusts and tornadoes. The storms hit after several days of warm weather, exceptional in duration for this time of year, with a depression named Beatrice by the Spanish meteorological service.

Thunderstorms moved from the southwest to the northeast. On the Allier, Burgundy, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine, the storms produced wind gusts between 70 and 90 km/h (43 – 56 mph).1

The storms were accompanied by very occasional hailstorms, observed from eastern Burgundy to eastern Champagne and in the Meuse.

A stormy arc formed along a Sarthe-Manche axis around 14:30 LT, moving northeast. To the south of this arc, two stormy systems intensified as they reached the Eure. 

The northernmost storm system gave strong winds responsible for the damage observed shortly after 16:00 LT in the Beuzeville sector in Eure. 

The second system, forming the southern tip of the stormy arc, took the form of a supercell and caused the formation of tornadoes, between about 17:30 and 18:30 LT, first touching the Conty sector in the Somme, south-west of Amiens, then Bihucourt in the Pas-de-Calais, and north-east of Amiens, causing significant damage.

The Bihucourt tornado was estimated as EF-3, with winds between 218 to 266 km/h (136 – 165 mph). The twister left a damage 200 m (656 feet) wide, on a trajectory of at least 25 km (15 miles).

References:

1 Violents orages et phénomènes tourbillonnaires en France ce week-end – Meteo France – October 24, 2022

Featured image: Robin G (stillshot)

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