Tornado rips through Sindian, overturns SUV

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Fri, May 13, 2011 - Page 1

A tornado churned through Sindian Distict (新店) of New Taipei City (新北市) yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Footage of the rarely seen weather system was captured by several residents and was uploaded to YouTube.

In the footage, a funnel-shaped cloud moving in the distance could be seen against a dark sky at about 1:50pm yesterday.

The bureau said that its radar echo map also showed a strong convective system in the area.

Bureau forecaster Wang Chun-sian (王君賢) said the tornado was formed by the interaction between a frontal system that arrived over the country yesterday and heat convection.

Though tornadoes are mostly reported in the plains areas in central and southern regions of the country, Wang said it is also possible for tornadoes to occur in highly populated metropolitan areas.

“It [a tornado] can still form [in metropolitan areas] as long as the right conditions are met,” Wang said.

Chen Yi-liang (陳怡良), a section chief at the bureau’s weather forecast center, said the bureau has received reports of similar events occuring in Taitung and in Greater Tainan over the past three years.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA