Global Warming's Impact on Supercells Requires Watch: Expert

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 14 (Jiji Press)--A close eye should be kept on how global warning affects factors involved in the formation of supercells to judge whether Japan will face devastating tornadoes, a meteorology expert says.

"Although supercells that can cause tornadoes are less likely to develop (in Japan) than in the United States, the impact of global warming needs to be closely watched," Hiroshi Niino, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, said Monday.

A host of tornadoes barreled through the South and Midwest of the United States from Friday night to early Saturday, killing dozens of people and leaving many missing.

Supercells, or large, rotating cumulonimbus clouds, are known to have caused deadly tornadoes in Japan. A tornado struck the town of Saroma in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido in November 2006, killing nine people and injuring 31, including seriously wounded people.

A May 2012 tornado that hit the cities of Joso and Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan, killed one person and slightly injured 37, leaving many houses damaged.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press