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Tornadoes of South America
Tornadoes in South America are largely confined to the pampas of Argentina and extensions of the pampas into the neighbouring states of Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil. Most South American tornadoes form when synoptic conditions favourable for the development of severe convective weather arises east of the Andes during the warm season, from September to March. The conditions resemble those that prevail over the US Central Plains during the North-American warm season.
Argentina averages about 32 reported tornadoes per year, but again, the true number is likely well underreported. The most deadly Argentinian tornado on record hit San Justo in Santa Fe Province on 10 January 1973. The large and powerful storm killed 54 and caused 350 injuries. The twister damaged or destroyed 500 homes. One interesting piece of tornado trivia occurred on 22 November 1951 when a tornado derailed an Argentine train carrying 600 passengers from Rosario to Tucuman. The strike overturned cars on the track injuring 48 persons, eight seriously.
Southern Brazil, and particularly Santa Catarina State have weather conditions conducive to tornado formation. A 2005 study by I. P. V. O. Marcelino, et al. of severe weather in that state reported 45 tornadoes, suspected tornadoes and waterspouts over the period 1976 to 2003. The storms occurred primarily in the spring and summer months.
The most noteworthy tornado of record struck southern Brazil on 16 June 1942, according to a New York Times article. Twenty people were killed and hundreds injured as tornado destroyed two hotels and a church. More recently, a multiple-vortex F3 tornado raced across the countryside of São Paulo State, Brazil on 24 May 2005.
There are few additional reports of severe tornado damage and deaths across South America. Among the more significant are:
Discussions of tornadoes for the five continents are given elsewhere on this site:
Tornadoes of Europe
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