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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 08/17/2008

Buses and Tornadoes Don't Mix

By Jason Samenow

Tornadoes and thunderstorms in south Poland Friday killed three people and injured many others according to news reports. One of these tornadoes allegedly slammed into a bus and flipped it, but caused no serious injuries. Amazingly, the bus-tornado collision was captured on video...

By Jason Samenow  | August 17, 2008; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  International Weather  
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Having lived in Poland for four years AND so lucky to have a Polish wife, neither of us have EVER heard of tornadoes in that country. Strange days, indeed.

Posted by: Rich Kraemer | August 17, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Tornadoes were also reported in eastern Germany and Poland in Jan. 2007.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | August 17, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Even Finland averages several per year.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | August 17, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

wow, that video is intense. CapitalClimate, thanks for looking up those stats, too.

Posted by: Camden, Capital Weather Gang | August 17, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

There have been a few tornadoes reported in the Czech Republic over the years. Most are "weak" EF 0 to EF 2 on the enhanced Fujita scale. Tornadoes can occur in Europe and other parts of the world but few of them gain the intensity of Great Plains tornadoes. Some of the most intense tornadoes outside of North America occur in Bangladesh and northern India. Hailstorms on the Indian subcontinent can also result in fatalities, a fact due chiefly to the population density and poor housing.

[A similar situation is also true of snakebite fatalities on the Indian subcontinent. Most snakebite fatalities down there are due not to cobras which WARN intruders by rearing up and displaying their "hoods" when an intruder approaches, but to kraits, a relative of the cobra with the same deadly neurotoxic venom, but which tend to be inadvertently stepped on by barefoot individuals after dark. Basically a banded krait resembles a coral snake without the characteristic "red on yellow hurts a fellow"; the bands are different shades of brown or gray. Hence the cobras get the press while the kraits are responsible for most of the snakebite fatalities in India and SE Asia.]

Posted by: El Bombo | August 17, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Two other common area for tornadoes outside of North America (perhaps as much so as Northern India) are Australia and the northern part of Argentina east of the Andes, with parts of adjacent Paraguay/Uruguay. These areas are favorable for the development of tilted-updraft thunderstorms, squall lines, and supercells because of an abundant supply of warm, humid air at the surface and mountain ranges to the windward that provide a source of cold air at higher levels... one of the classic formulas for instability. As noted, the Himalayas do the same for Northern India.

Posted by: Mike from Vienna | August 17, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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