Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

'Tornado' hits south Birmingham

Peacocks | 28.07.2005 14:46 | Ecology | Birmingham

Extreme winds felled trees in the Kings Heath area of Birmingham in an intense minute-long storm.

At approximately 15:00 on Thurday 28th July a storm, which is being described by residents as a 'tornado', tore down mature trees and reportedly blew out shop frontages. Kings Heath High Road is reported closed to traffic and pedestrians. The No 50 bus is being diverted through residential streets.
Locals described how the sky turned dark, followed by driving rain and winds strong enough to rip down large trees and pull roof tiles to the ground. Sixty seconds later calm had been restored. One man described seeing branches swirling in the sky 25 feet above him. Extensive damage has been done to property and trees, though there are not any reports of injuries as of yet.


Is there any presendence for tornadoes in Birmingham in July? What does this mean. It did all seem a bit Day After Tomorrow, or am I reading too much into this?



Hide the following 4 comments


28.07.2005 15:46

are actually quite common in the uk. google on them. thunderstorms have been forecast for today, so it's probably not unexpected.


"the sky looked like it was from the film 'Flash Gordon'"

28.07.2005 16:37

blinding eye witness account from Birmingham's not shit:

we're not in kansas anymore

"I was caught in a traffic jam on Cattel Road / Coventry Road, as loads of trees had come down, completely blocking Coventry Rd. It also looked like bits of 'Big W' had come off and landed in the car park or against the fence of St. Andrews.
Most of Cattel Rd. had some damage. I saw somebody's metal shed had been turned upside down.
It was fantastic seeing it though; the sky looked like it was from the film 'Flash Gordon'."

rotunda pants

Birmingham's not Shit
- Homepage:

Global Warming,Happening now not later.

30.07.2005 22:33

Our world , our choices
Our world , our choices

Hi,my names emma , im 13 years old and interested and you could say fascinated with the worlds extreme weather. I am particulary interested in tornadoes , especially any that happen around me in the uk as they are said to be quite rare. As you all may know a tornado occured in birmingham, which i was pretty shocked at considering many tornadoes and other really bad types of weather arent reported unless there is a considerable amount of damage and lives at risk. I'm guessing this was only reported as it was all so sudden and unexpected , 'A freak tornado'.
I am really concerned about global warming and the effects that it may bring to our planet. At the end of the article it mentioned that the tornado in birmingham may have been a result of global warming or due to it anyway. It said is it global warming or am i just too much into it. Well to be honest i think you are correct,alot more worse weather has occured over the past few years all over the world , so much that it is becoming blatently obvious.A lot of people havent been taught about our planet or global warming and are shocked at what i tell them, well some. We were asked at our school if we care that hamilton in scotland (where i live) was flooded. A small and embarrassing 5-10 people i think put their hands up. That shows that they dont have the greater knowledge of whats going on. Global Warming isnt happening in 100 years time , its happening right now , the start of hell has occured,George Bush a selfish man who doesnt care , more than half of us dont care , and i dont think we , our children or our childrens children should pay the price. Wake up world and face the facts, before our planet is destroyed quicker than we thought and mankind is over.

Emma Clare Jamieson
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

a science report

02.08.2005 00:01

Ok, here's one science based view based on the BBC report. It ain't much but it's better than suspected troll Skeptic's sorry effort. I am an eyewitness, personally affected by the scale 5 tornado event in Birmingham on Thurday 28th July.

The report [] claims the last previous tornado of any comparable scale was in 1931, in the nearby Hall Green and Small Heath. John Kings, a University of Birmingham meteorologist [see] is quoted:

"He said the tornado was caused by the severe thunder storms crossing the country on Thursday, growing in intensity until they reached south Birmingham. He said the geography of the area would also have been a factor: 'It was the first high bit of land it came to.'

Mr Kings said the event probably measured about three to four on the tornado scale, which is monitored by the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO).

'That is about the most severe we see in the UK,' "

But rare. "He said it was impossible to forecast a tornado although the severe thunder storms, torrential rain and gusty winds which produced it had been predicted across the country."

King: 'The chances of this happening again this summer or in the next three or four years in the UK is very, very low. What is more likely is a similar sort of thing as happened in Selly Oak in 1999, where a funnel cloud took off slates, but nothing like this.'

The report says Kings also attributes the tornado to the human-made ecology of the city itself:
'There is now more urban fabric and that can act as an additional trigger mechanism...'

One point of information: in the report Kings argues the tornado was 'probably scale 3 or 4' according to the TORRO scale []. However, it is evident from the Balsall Heath area at least (see for example the building on the corner of Ladypool Rd and Woodstock Road) that some buildings suffered more than just roof damage (wall damage was unusual but not unheard of), qulaifying the tornado as a scale 5.


white lunar