20th Conference on Severe Local Storms


Tornadoes of the Former Soviet Union

Richard E. Peterson, Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX

Across the vast reaches of the former Soviet Union (FSU), tornadoes have been widely reported over the last two centuries - from the Baltic coast to Vladivostok, and from the far north to Central Asia. While most of these tornadoes have been weak, a few have been of at least moderate intensity, leading to great damage and loss of life.

As the Soviet Union was about to break up in the 1980s, Snitkovsky provided a comprehensive survey of the nation's tornadic activity . Almost 250 events were listed, the basic data was used to allow an F-scale rating for each, and an analysis of overall climatology was generated. Half of the events in the data base took place in the western tier of now-independent republics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova).

Since the breakup of the FSU, the published documentation of tornadoes in Russia has become more accessible. Events occurring in the independent states however are no longer included. So while the tornado climatology of part of the FSU is more easily extended, for some of the other regions it is more difficult. (Documentation for Estonia, for example, has become more intense, while in other states more lax.)

This paper reports on the tornadoes identified in the FSU which have occurred since the breakup somewhat over a decade ago. Comparisons to the larger Soviet Union data base are made. Additional attention is given to the most severe (F4) events.

Session 5A, Climatological studies (Parallel with Session 5b)
Wednesday, 13 September 2000, 8:00 AM-10:00 AM

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