The UK has the highest number of reported tornadoes for its land area of any country in the world, experts say.
A tornado ripped through a Birmingham suburb in July 2005
Just last Tuesday, a mini tornado blasted through the village of Bowstreet in Ceredigion, west Wales, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to homes and other buildings and flattening trees and fences.
Dr Terence Meaden, deputy head of the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (Torro), said about 70 tornadoes were reported across the UK in 2004 and 2005, with 40 this year.
Dr T Theodore Fujita, an American meteorologist, first recognised the UK as the top site for tornadoes in 1973, and Torro had confirmed his findings ever since, Dr Meaden said.
He said the UK was especially susceptible to tornadoes because of its position on the Atlantic seaboard where polar air from the North Pole met tropical air from the Equator.
"This is a region where there is often mixing of air, giving rise to the very unstable conditions that cause a tornado," he said.
One of the most destructive tornadoes in the UK struck Birmingham on the afternoon of July 28 last year when hundreds of buildings in Sparkbrook were damaged by 135mph winds.
A total of 19 people are known to have been injured and hundreds of trees were uprooted by the storm, which struck at about 3pm. Investigators from Torro measured a damage path which was more than seven miles (11km) long, and in places, 500 metres wide.
A £260 million regeneration plan has been put forward to rebuild the community and create 2,000 jobs. It was the most damaging in the UK since January 1998, when Selsey, in West Sussex, was hit.
Ferocious 100mph winds caused £10 million of damage when they hit the seaside town. The area was hit again by another tornado two years later.
In October 2002 more than 100 properties were damaged when a tornado ripped through parts of Portchester in Hampshire.
And in early May last year, a tornado hit Lancashire, damaging around 30 homes, ripping off garage roofs and causing chimneys to collapse.
In August, five archaeologists in Lincolnshire were hurt when the temporary canteen they were using to shelter from a tornado was picked up and thrown through the air.
A witness described how the tornado lifted debris, including planks of wood and sheets of metal, almost 200ft into the air.