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Are the Media Correct to use the term Mini Tornado?


Are the Media correct to use the term 'Mini Tornado'  

71 members have voted

  1. 1. Are the Media Correct to use the term 'Mini Tornado'

    • Yes
      7
    • No
      64


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Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion

    There's already been quite a debate on this both on UKww and TWO. It'll be interesting to see what Net-Wx members think.

    To me, 'mini' implies it's only a few feet high or maybe a couple of feet wide and unlikely to cause any damage. To use the term 'mini tornado' for something like the F1/F2 tornado that hit near Aberystwyth causing extensive damage to property is both extremely misleading as well as rather insulting to those who suffered damage.

    But what do you think?

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    Posted
  • Location: Stewartstown (51m asl) , N.Ireland. (In Dazzling Dazza Land)
  • Location: Stewartstown (51m asl) , N.Ireland. (In Dazzling Dazza Land)

    I think the use of Mini Tornado isn't quite right. At the end of the day, surely a Tornado is as it says a Tornado!

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    Posted
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)

    Voted no, obviously a media invention, never come across tornado refered to as 'mini' in any meteorological journals or books.

    A tornado is a funnel which touches the ground and causes varying degrees of damage in it's path, so shouldn't be referred to as 'mini' in any way.

    I think the media have this idea that we can't get big damaging tornadoes like the ones found in the US, so they apply the 'mini' word for their readers - who are on the whole none the wiser, how misleading when looking at the damage caused by the Bow Street tornado and the Birmingham tornado a few years ago. Every tornado in the UK should be treated with respect and not belittled just because we here don't see the big monsters that are seen in the mid-west so often.

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    Posted
  • Location: Stewartstown (51m asl) , N.Ireland. (In Dazzling Dazza Land)
  • Location: Stewartstown (51m asl) , N.Ireland. (In Dazzling Dazza Land)
    Voted no, obviously a media invention, never come across tornado refered to as 'mini' in any meteorlogical journals or books.

    A tornado is a funnel which touches the ground and causes varying degrees of damage in it's path, so shouldn't be referred to as 'mini' in any way.

    I think the media have this idea that we can't get big damaging tornadoes like the ones found in the US, so they apply the 'mini' word for their readers - who are on the whole non the wiser, how misleading when looking at the damage caused by the Bow Street tornado and the Birmingham tornado a few years ago. Every tornado in the UK should be treated with respect and not belittled just because we here don't see the big monsters that are seen in the mid-west so often.

    Here, here, that's exactly right Nick.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Maybe we should force the media into using the term 'European Tornado' to distinguish the lower strength of many of our (European) funnels compared to their generally stronger U.S. cousins.

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    Posted
  • Location: Longlevens, 16m ASL / Bradley Stoke, 75m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Hot sunny summers, cold snowy winters
  • Location: Longlevens, 16m ASL / Bradley Stoke, 75m ASL
    Voted no, obviously a media invention, never come across tornado refered to as 'mini' in any meteorological journals or books.

    A tornado is a funnel which touches the ground and causes varying degrees of damage in it's path, so shouldn't be referred to as 'mini' in any way.

    I think the media have this idea that we can't get big damaging tornadoes like the ones found in the US, so they apply the 'mini' word for their readers - who are on the whole none the wiser, how misleading when looking at the damage caused by the Bow Street tornado and the Birmingham tornado a few years ago. Every tornado in the UK should be treated with respect and not belittled just because we here don't see the big monsters that are seen in the mid-west so often.

    Quite agree, either its a tornado or not regardless of strength.

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    Posted
  • Location: Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
  • Location: Castle Howard, North Yorkshire
    Voted no, obviously a media invention, never come across tornado refered to as 'mini' in any meteorological journals or books.

    A tornado is a funnel which touches the ground and causes varying degrees of damage in it's path, so shouldn't be referred to as 'mini' in any way.

    I think the media have this idea that we can't get big damaging tornadoes like the ones found in the US, so they apply the 'mini' word for their readers - who are on the whole none the wiser, how misleading when looking at the damage caused by the Bow Street tornado and the Birmingham tornado a few years ago. Every tornado in the UK should be treated with respect and not belittled just because we here don't see the big monsters that are seen in the mid-west so often.

    Couldn't agree more Nick.

    If this had hit their offices, then they wouldn't be calling it a mini Tornado then,

    would they!

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    Posted
  • Location: Winchester, Hampshire ~ Southern Central!
  • Location: Winchester, Hampshire ~ Southern Central!
    Quite agree, either its a tornado or not regardless of strength.

    A tornado is a tornado regardless! Would they say mini about the strength that even one of the small tornadoes have?!?!?! No ... Precisely. No mini about it!

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    Posted
  • Location: Aviemore
  • Location: Aviemore

    It's one thing to say they shouldn't call it mini, but there needs to be a clearer definition of what strength tornados are. When your average person things of a tornado they think of the sort of thing shown in the movie twister - a huge great big thing, devastating towns etc etc. Clearly, although the UK's tornados aren't nice for the people in their path, they're not on that scale and that is where the problem lies.

    The key is eduation, who apart from weather buffs know what the UK's T (torro) scale is? Very few.. Who apart from weather buffs know what the F (Fujita) scale is, more people most probably but still very few really understand it, apart from what they've seen on films etc. People need to be able to compare like for like, so if they're seeing am F4 or F5 in twister for instance, how do they compare that to the tornados of the last few days in the UK?

    Answer is, with difficulty, as Torro have chosen to use a different scale and (even if their scale is more accurate) very, very few people know about it. So Torro talk about a T3 or T4 to the press (which going by their scale puts it at about an F2), the journos don't really know what it means (they're not into weather generally), so revert to simplicity, which is to use terms such as mini.

    So for me, it's a case of having to either show people how the Torro scale works more widely if it's going to be used, or the Fujita scale needs to be used uniformly when discussing these things so eventually more people understand the differences between the tornados they see in films etc and what is actually happening on their doorstep. The only way to get the press to report things more accurately is for them to know that the general public will understand what they're talking about if they do, imo :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
  • Location: Rochester, Kent

    Clearly it's a term used to portray the lesser magnitude of the event compared to what most of the general public understand.

    It must therefore be policy to describe:

    (i) Mist as 'Mini-Fog'

    (ii) Showers as 'Mini-Rain'

    (iii) Sparks (of whatever origin) as 'Mini-Lightning'

    (iv) Cloudy sky in June (6octs) as 'Mini-Summer's Day'

    (v) Light winds as 'Mini-Hurricane'

    (vi) Overcast as 'Mini-Complete-Ocean Osmosis'

    (vii) Global Warming as 'Mini-Apocalypse' :)

    I voted 'No'

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    Posted
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley

    So who are the 2 who have Voted Yes then??? Come on put on here why you think the term "Mini" Should be used. As i posted on Ukww, A Tornado is a Tornado Period!!!

    In regards to what Paul Posted about the "T" Versus the "F" Scale, i also believe the Torro Scale to be fairer. The amount of Tornadoes that rattle across the Open Plains and Go unseen every year must be in double digits and hence if reported get a F0 - F1 Clarification, now put thast same Tornado in a Major City and it would probably get between F3-F5 Due to the Amount of People & Businesses it affects and the threat to lives, the Tornadoes could be exactly the same size and width but the Rating so different, This is and always has been wrong IMO.

    Also how many people know that most of the 1,200 Reported Tornadoes this year in the USA Have been F2's or lower, about the same as our T4, So when the Media bring the Word Mini into the equasion it is a False Statement for the General Public.

    Paul Sherman

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    Posted
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley

    But how can that be a " Mini" Tornado, surely it is still a Full strength Tornado Ireespective of wether it hits a Populated area or not, there have been reports of 1/2 mile wide Tornadoes in the Mid West but because they were across open Farmland they get a F1 Rating, Would you class that as Mini being 1/2 mile wide???

    Paul Sherman

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    Posted
  • Location: Warwick and Hull
  • Location: Warwick and Hull

    I think the reason people in this country call them Mini Tornadoes is that most people are only familiar with the devastating American tornadoes, and the belief that England doesn't get Tornadoes.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beckton, E London 8m ASL
  • Location: Beckton, E London 8m ASL

    The term "mini" tornado is misleading, and shouldn't be used.

    Ask anyone who's had their house ripped apart, their business ruined or worse - injured etc, that the wind that caused it was the most violent winds we get in the UK, but the media call it "mini"

    I voted no btw :blink:

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset

    I voted Yes, it's pure intellectural snobery to suggest otherwise, If somebody wants to call something mini to explain it more accurately or give the public a better impression why not.!

    You can have a mini car crash i.e you smash wing mirrors or something.

    As to educating the public, the public simply just don't care and why is it the job of a newspaper to educate ?.

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    Posted
  • Location: Coalville, Leics, UK, 157m/asl
  • Location: Coalville, Leics, UK, 157m/asl
    I think the reason people in this country call them Mini Tornadoes is that most people are only familiar with the devastating American tornadoes, and the belief that England doesn't get Tornadoes.

    You've highlighted the problem perfectly here. The media have used mini that often and peddled stories that give you the impression that all US tornadoes are devastating. 85% of US tornadoes have a similar strength to the ones in the UK, yet they don't see the need to call the weaker ones mini. By using mini they've lead you to believe it's a suitable badge for those in the UK, when its not.

    If you get caught in a T0/F0 tornado it will likely be the windiest thing you have every experienced and threaten your life. The media calling them mini-tornadoes waters that threat down and will create apathy amongst the general public. It may not be the job of papers to educate people, but people use the papers to educate themselves, so the papers should take that responsibility seriously. By creating a misconception that UK tornadoes are no threat to your safety, they are endangering the lives of anyone that has listened to them and is faced with a tornado!

    To answer the earlier comments btw, the T (for tornado, not TORRO) scale measures tornadoes by an estimate of their wind speed rather than the damage/cost they produce as the Fujita scale does. In practice events for both scales are assessed by the damage anyway, but the T scale will allow for measuring wind speeds using dopplar or other methods too. The T scale has the potential to be better than the F scale imo, but they may as well be identical as it stands.

    Guess which I voted for! :blink:

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    Posted
  • Location: Quadring...(spalding)
  • Location: Quadring...(spalding)

    there, in my mind is no such thing as a 'mini tornado' because it's either an F1-5 tornado or its not!So the only thing the media is broadcasting/writing is mis-information, making people think there is such a thing. :D

    SHU

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    Posted
  • Location: Dorset
  • Location: Dorset

    To add to my previous post.

    1. Most people don't undertand the wind scale, and wouldn't know what a Force 5 wind was. Why on earth do we think they will understand the F scale.

    2. Most people will never see a Tornado in there life, nor will it ever effect them, some people can't een be bothered to learn what an APR is. Do we really expect a newpaper to give a 2 or 3 paragraph explaining about tornado's every time they mention them.

    3. We use words such as mini all the time in weather, i.e "mini heatwave", exactly the same arguments could be used, it's either a heatwave or it's not.

    Or how about when we said it's a bit windy outside. etc etc

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    Posted
  • Location: IPSWICH, SUFFOLK
  • Location: IPSWICH, SUFFOLK

    Mini tornado is kinda reserved for our country, the name is pretty cool. Although a tornado is a tornado at the end of the day. Be nice to to hear tornado but when you hear mini then you knnow it's happened in the UK. However, i don't know the statistics but I'd have thought only 10% of US tornados are deadly, most will be funnels and slightly stronger than ours?

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    Next it'll be the "micro-tornado" :lol:

    A micro tornado was in fact spotted last year - although to be honest it was rather a storm in a teacup. Literally!

    Meanwhile, the big question is: will a mini rainstorm cause any rivers to burst their banks this winter and give us a mini flood? Or will we get a mini blizzard drop a few inches of snow on London? :D

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