Tornado Hits Town Northeast Of Tokyo Japan May 5, 2012

Image Caption: Map of Tornado Location from May 5th 2012

Typically when you think of tornadoes you think of the Plains of the United States. Japan does get tornadoes but most are associated with Tropical Activity. On May 5th 2012, the storm which produced this tornado was not associated with a Typhoon. It was more of a super-cell type thunderstorm.

Videos and images available shown the tornado had a wide base. The damage left behind indicates that it could have been a strong storm approaching the middle of the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The storm occurred right around lunch time on Saturday. Luckily it hit a pretty rural area of Japan. It remained northeast of Tokyo.

Japanese news agencies indicated there was one death reported with many injuries along with large amounts of damage.

This storm produced a tornado because the weather conditions were right. There was a strong frontal boundary passing to the west over the Japanese Alps and there was some very strong winds moving in from the southwest. This brought the drier air in that mixed with the cold air off the Japanese Alps and the warm waters off the Pacific.

We need to be ready at all times as tornadoes can hit wherever the conditions come together.