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Rare tornado hits Xindian in New Taipei

The China Post news staff -- Many people in downtown Xindian (新店) in New Taipei City could not believe their eyes when they witnessed a tornado, an extremely rare phenomenon on the island.

The 20-floor high tornado lasted about two minutes and hurled objects in its path into the air in downtown Xindian, including some trees. A van was lifted from the ground and smashed a motorcycle when it fell. No casualties were reported.

“It's the first time in my life that I saw a tornado,” said a local witness, who was woken up by the swirling storm.

The whole process of the tornado's formation and disappearance was recorded by a local resident, who posted the video on YouTube.

According the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), the storm will not be included in the official record of natural disasters as it was not recorded by the bureau's weather station.

As the local insurance industry usually relies on CWB records for damage claims, the ill-fated owner of the brand-new van may not be able to receive compensation for the damaged vehicle.

 According to the CWB, the violent storm may have been caused by strong thermal convection, a process when cold dry polar air meets warm moist tropical air.

 While typhoons are common tropical storms in Taiwan, the occurrence of tornado in Taiwan is extremely unusual.

 A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with the surface of the earth. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust.

 Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour, are approximately 250 feet across, and travel a few miles before dissipating.

May 14, 2011    therines@
Appearance of Tornado is extremely unusual and I bet there will be more extreme natural events appearances in the future, knowing the way we humans, the virus of Mother earth, carelessly and luxuriously live in expense of our environment!
May 14, 2011    reddoc46@
While your basic description of a tornado is correct, the fact remains that in most cases the actual funnel cloud is only 'on the ground ' for maybe 100-250 meters. Then too, there are numerous cases of the funnel never 'touching down' and then receding back into the cloud mass. Weather Bureau Doppler radar should be able to provide recorded data of a 'bow echo' or even cloud rotation in that area.
May 17, 2011    butter@
therines@ wrote:
Appearance of Tornado is extremely unusual and I bet there will be more extreme natural events appearances in the future, knowing the way we humans, the virus of Mother earth, carelessly and luxuriously live in expense of our environment!
I'd love to see your evidence showing human activity as the cause for this tornado. Good luck!
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 Rare tornado hits Xindian in New Taipei 
A tornado hits downtown Xindian (新店) in New Taipei City, yesterday afternoon. The violent storm lasted two minutes and hurled objects into the air, including trees, before dissipating. Tornadoes are extremely rare in Taiwan where typhoons are a common occurrence. (CNA)

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