The UK’s most recent tornado during Storm Isha – when was it?
2 mins read

The UK’s most recent tornado during Storm Isha – when was it?

Storm Isha – with its over 100mph winds – has brought flight, train and ferry cancellations as well as road closures and power cuts in its wake. 

The Met Office put both amber and red warnings at the height of the storm and two new yellow alert warnings extending until midday on Wednesday, January 24 for some parts of the country.

The rare red “danger to life” warning of wind was in force in northern Scotland until 5am on Monday, while an amber warning of wind for the whole country was lifted at 6am.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also said on Monday morning that the Government is working hard with authorities to restore power to homes remaining without it.

Transport Scotland has said that it recorded a gust of 107mph on the Tay Bridge in Dundee and the Met Office said there was one of 84mph at Salsburgh, North Lanarkshire.

The “destructive storm” has prompted many Brits to ask whether the severe winds equate to a Tornado. 

Is Storm Isha a tornado?

On Sunday night, The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation, issued a ‘Tornado Watch‘ alert on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The warning was in place from 4pm on Sunday, January 22 to 11pm.

It is important to note that the warning has now expired and that there are no tornado warnings in place.

If Storm Isha doesn’t currently qualify as a tornado – when was the last time the UK experienced one?

When was the last time the UK had a tornado?

Tornados are categorised using the International Tornado Intensity Scale (The T Scale) which ranks the event based on separate wind speed, track length, track width and track area, according to the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO).


Recommended reading


The last time the UK experienced a T7 tornado (strongly devastating winds) was December 8 1954 when it hit Gunnersbury in London.

Meanwhile, the most recent T6 tornado (moderately devastating) was on July 28, 2005 (rated T5-6) which hit Birmingham.

TORRO notes that the most intense tornado on record for the UK (and England) went through Welbourn, Wellingore, Navenby and Boothby Graffoe in Lincolnshire on October 23, 1666.

The Welbourn tornado has been rated at T8-9 with a reported maximum track width of 200m and a track length of 5km.