August 2008 European tornado outbreak

The August 2008 European tornado outbreak was a widespread severe weather event which spawned thirteen tornadoes in four countries, one of which killed three people in France. This particular tornado reached F4 intensity.[1]

August 2008 European tornado outbreak
TypeTornado outbreak
DurationAugust 3–4, 2008
13 confirmed
Max. rating1F4 tornado
Duration of
tornado outbreak2
~28+12 hours
Fatalities3 fatalities (+1 non-tornadic), ≥ 50 injuries
DamageSeveral million Euros
Areas affectedFrance, Germany, Netherlands, Poland
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale
2Time from first tornado to last tornado

Meteorological synopsisEdit

On August 3, several areas of low pressure developed. Frontal systems extended from one of the lows, stretching from the Azores to the Germany coastline.

Confirmed tornadoesEdit

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
FU F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
0 5 4 3 0 1 0 13

August 3 eventEdit

List of reported tornadoes - Sunday, August 3, 2008
F# Location State Coord. Time (UTC) Path length Damage
F0 N of Langeneß (1st tornado) Schleswig-Holstein 54°40′N 8°36′E / 54.66°N 8.60°E / 54.66; 8.60 (Langeneß (Aug. 3, F0)) 1150 unknown A brief waterspout developed near the coast of northern Germany. The waterspout dissipated before reaching shore.[2]
F1 N of Langeneß (2nd tornado) Schleswig-Holstein 54°40′N 8°36′E / 54.66°N 8.60°E / 54.66; 8.60 (Langeneß (Aug. 3, F1)) 1150 unknown The second of two waterspouts near Langeneß developed in the same location as the first but briefly tracked onshore, tossing beach chairs before dissipating.[2]
F0 N of Büsum Schleswig-Holstein 1300 unknown A brief waterspout developed near Büsum.[2]
F0 N of Norderney Lower Saxony 1453 unknown A brief waterspout developed near Norderney.[2]
F2 Goldenstedt area Lower Saxony 52°47′N 8°26′E / 52.78°N 8.43°E / 52.78; 8.43 (Goldenstedt (Aug. 3, F2)) 2115 4 km (2.5 mi) The strongest tornado to touch down in Germany during the outbreak struck Goldenstedt. Numerous homes were damaged by the tornado and several trees were uprooted.[2]
F1 Oostermeer area Friesland 53°10′N 6°03′E / 53.17°N 6.05°E / 53.17; 6.05 (Oostermeer (Aug. 3, F1)) 1745 unknown A tornado tracked for 25 minutes in Friesland and damaged large areas of trees and tore roofs off several homes.[3]
F2 Groningen area Groningen 53°12′N 6°15′E / 53.20°N 6.25°E / 53.20; 6.25 (Groningen (Aug. 3, F2)) 1845 unknown A strong F2 tornado damaged or destroyed several homes and barns and uprooted numerous trees. The maximum width of the tornado was estimated at 200 metres. Dozens of people were reportedly injured by the tornado and damages exceeded €100,000.[3]
F4 Hautmont area Nord 50°15′N 3°56′E / 50.25°N 3.93°E / 50.25; 3.93 (Hautmont (Aug. 3, F4)) 2200 18.7 km (11.6 mi) 3 deathsSee section on this tornado

August 4 eventEdit

List of reported tornadoes - Monday, August 4, 2008
F# Location State Coord. Time (UTC) Path length Damage
F1 Deckbergen area Lower Saxony 0258 2.5 km (1.6 mi) A 200 to 300 metre wide tornado damaged several residences.[2]
F1 Birkenau area Hesse 49°34′N 8°43′E / 49.56°N 8.71°E / 49.56; 8.71 (Birkenau (Aug. 3, F1)) 0650 330 m (360 yd) A brief and narrow tornado damaged several homes and tore bricks off the local firehouse.[2]
F0 Augustów area Podlaskie Voivodeship 53°51′N 23°00′E / 53.85°N 23.00°E / 53.85; 23.00 (Augustów (Aug. 3, F0)) 1400 200 m (220 yd) A brief rope tornado touched down in Augustów
F0 Świdnik area Lublin Voivodeship 51°15′N 22°52′E / 51.25°N 22.86°E / 51.25; 22.86 (Świdnik (Aug. 3, F0)) 1510 200 m (220 yd) A brief rope tornado touched down in Świdnik
F2 Jastkowice area Subcarpathian Voivodeship 50°37′N 22°06′E / 50.62°N 22.10°E / 50.62; 22.10 (Jastkowice (Aug. 3, F2)) 1615 unknown

Hautmont, FranceEdit

Hautmont, France
F4 tornado
Max. rating1F4 tornado
Fatalities3 fatalities, 18 injuries
1Most severe tornado damage; see Fujita scale

The tornado initially touched down outside the city of Pont-sur-Sambre, initially causing damage ranging from F0 to F1 in intensity. The tornado then moved through a corn field at 20:28 UTC before causing damage to power lines and roofs of buildings in the northern part of town. The storm rapidly strengthened immediately after hitting Pont-sur-Sambre, reaching F2-F3 strength just about 2 km from the point of touchdown, and a few homes and structures sustained significant damage in this area. At the 20:31 UTC the tornado intensified further and caused major damage to some rural brick homes, one of which was completely leveled to the ground at F4 (T8) strength, and the other sustaining F2 (T4-T5) damage. With winds in excess of 300 km / h (F4), the tornado reached a forested area, debarking or uprooting all the trees within a radius of 150 m. Maintaining its strength, the violent tornado struck Hautmont, flattening multiple brick homes and structures, killing 3 people, and injuring 18 others. Numerous other homes and some apartment buildings had major structural damage, and a sports complex was also severely damaged. Multiple cars were picked up and thrown hundreds of meters, some of which were hurled into buildings, and large trees were denuded and debarked. Small objects from town were also found tens of kilometers away. At 20:35 the weakening but still strong tornado arrived in Maubeuge, causing damage of F2 (T4/5) and F1 (T2/T3) strength, destroying a church tower and damaging many other buildings. At 20:40 the tornado began to shrink in size and strength, causing F0 damage to some trees and structures before finally dissipating at 20:42 not far from the border of Belgium.

The tornado remained on the ground for about 14 minutes with a displacement speed of about 40–50 km/h and winds that have exceeded 300 km / h along a total path of 18.7 km, killing 3 people and damaging or destroying about 1000 buildings with a width of 150m-200m.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Section : Tornade dans le Nord le 3 août 2008". Bilan de l'année 2008 (in French). Météo-France. Archived from the original on 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Thomas Sävert (2009). "2008 Germany tornadoes" (in German). Tornado Liste. Archived from the original on April 18, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Reinout van den Born (August 4, 2008). "Grote schade door windhozen" (in Dutch). Meteo Zwolle. Archived from the original on 2009-05-31. Retrieved April 19, 2009.

External linksEdit