Jersey tornado believed to be most powerful recorded in British Isles for nearly 70 years

Picture: JON GUEGAN. (36943169)

THE tornado which ripped through the east of Jersey on Wednesday night is believed to have been the most powerful twister recorded in the British Isles for almost 70 years.

Following analysis of the damage, experts from the UK-based Tornado and Storm Research Organisation say it is likely to have been the strongest tornado since one which hit Gunnersbury in West London 1954.

The twister made landfall in St Clement before exiting Jersey at Fliquet, causing “severe damage” along its 8km track.

In a statement, TORRO said: “TORRO rates tornadoes based on the International Tornado Intensity Scale (T-scale). Damage is assessed, and then compared against the typical damage descriptions against each rating.

Picture: JON GUEGAN. (36943166)

“The damage on Jersey is being examined by TORRO staff, to assess the strength of the tornado. Our preliminary rating is an intensity of T6. Consulting TORRO’s records, it has been determined to be stronger than the Birmingham, UK, tornado, of Wednesday 28 July 2005, (which was rated T5/6) and is likely the strongest since the Gunnersbury (West London) tornado of Wednesday 8 December 1954, which was rated T7.

“TORRO keeps records of tornadoes for the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. There have only been a few tornadoes of T6 intensity and greater in the last century within the records, and this is easily the strongest on record for the Channel Islands.

Jersey Met radar image of the moment the tornado went through (36919478)

“TORRO has a record of a tornado affecting St John, on Tuesday 15 September 1981, which was given a rating of T3.

“Regarding the large hail – the last time hail of a comparable size occurred on Jersey appears to have been on Sunday 5 June 1983, when 5cm hailstones were reported.

“TORRO would like to extend their sympathy to affected residents and thank them for their patience and help. TORRO would also like to thank Jersey Met for all their help and support over the weekend.”