Rare supercell tornado hits Ilirska Bistrica, causing significant damage, Slovenia

Rare supercell tornado hits Ilirska Bistrica, causing significant damage, Slovenia

A rare tornado hit the town of Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia at around 20:00 UTC on August 1, 2023, resulting in substantial damage. Luckily, there were no injuries reported. This is the first confirmed tornado to hit Slovenia since August 20, 2014.

As revealed by Marko Korosec of Severe Weather Europe, photo evidence clearly indicated the presence of a mesocyclonic tornado that originated from an isolated supercell thunderstorm, coming ahead of a cold front.

The tornado’s genesis was identified on the western side of the elongated valley near Ilirska Bistrica, a town located in southwestern Slovenia. The storm intensified as it traversed the valley, subsequently spawning a tornado. Its touchdown was first recorded in Koseze, a small town on the western periphery of Ilirska Bistrica. The vortex remained active for an extended duration, exceeding five minutes.


The damage reports emerging in the aftermath indicated significant structural damage. Multiple residential buildings and roofs bore the brunt of the tornado’s strength, with at least 4 homes having their roof timbers largely exposed or entirely blown off.

YouTube video

This event marks the first confirmed occurrence of a tornado in Slovenia since a similar one struck the Karst region in SW Slovenia on August 20, 2014. Notably, the most significant tornadoes recorded in Slovenia’s history were those that hit Gozd near Kamnik on July 13, 2008, and Hotedršica on August 23, 1986.

This tornado came on the heels of a multi-day severe weather outbreak that impacted Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia just a few days prior. This series of weather events, characterized by intense winds, flash floods, destructive hail, and tornadoes, resulted in widespread damage to numerous houses, forests, and vineyards. The estimated cost of the damages incurred from these events reaches into the millions of Euros.


1 A rare tornado strikes the town of Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia, today, Aug 1st, 2023. Significant damage reported – Severe Weather Europe – August 2, 2023

Featured image: Tornado in Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia on August 1, 2023. Credit: Miha Dimic / Neurje.si


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