Natural Hazards

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 71–89 | Cite as

Tornadoes in Southern Apulia (Italy)



Numerous tornadoes have traversed southern Apulia in the course of the last five centuries, causing severe damage and a significant loss of life. Historical chronicles and newspaper articles allowed more than 30 tornadic events to be identified; in particular, 26 of these have occurred during the last two centuries. In all, 24 small towns and villages of southern Apulia suffered on at least one occasion the disastrous effects of being hit by a tornado.

Collated data reveals that tornadoes generally form from May to December, with the most powerful events taking place in the month of September, followed by October and November. Tornadoes generally cluster in the southernmost area of the region and typically follow a path leading from the south-west to the north-east. Path length were observed to vary from 8 to 73 km, and widths ranging from 60 to 850 m.

The metereological analysis carried out for the events occurred after 1950, even if based on a limited data set, reveals a few typical meteorological scenarios associated with the development of tornadoes over Salento.

In southern Apulia tornadoes can be classified from levels A2 to A4 in accordance with the Damage Area Scale.


tornado catalogue path length southern Apulia Italy 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geo Data ServiceMaglie (Lecce)Italy
  2. 2.Lecce SectionCNR-ISACLecceItaly
  3. 3.Osservatorio di Chimica, Fisica e Geologia Ambientali, Dip. di Scienza dei MaterialiUnivesità degli StudiLecceItaly

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