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Name: Unknown
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 12/10/2002

Are there tornadoes in Antarctica?

I suppose a tornado could occur anywhere, but tornadoes are "driven" by the heat of condensation of moist air due to an unstable inversion. Given the lack of moisture in the Antarctic -- it is the largest desert on earth I doubt that tornados are part of their weather pattern.

Vince Calder

Dear Sir/Madame-

A tornado in Antarctica would be extremely rare. Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms, and any kind of thunderstorm in that region is rare, although they have been observed in the northernmost parts of the continent and along the islands.

Wendell Bechtold, meteorologist
Forecaster, National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office, St Louis, MO

I do not know of any tornados having been reported in Antarctica. However, theoretically, thunderstorms are a rare possibility around the exterior and snow devils are possible in the interior.

David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory

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