Hypothetical Tornadoes Wiki
Hypothetical Tornadoes Wiki
2016 Catania tornado
F4 tornado
Damage to a warehouse in Downtown Catania.

Damage to a warehouse in Downtown Catania.
Date May 17, 2016
Times 21:19-22:04
Touchdown location 9:19 PM CEST (7:19 pm UTC or 3:19 pm EDT)
Highest winds

218 MPH

Injuries 1,180
Fatalities 1,004
Damage 1.18 Billion (2020 USD)
Areas affected Areas in and around Catania, Italy
Part of the
Tornadoes of 2016 (Crowe2003)

In the late evening hours of May 17, A very large storm complex caused numerous tornadoes across Africa and southern Europe, a lot were weak, however, a couple were strong and even violent. The most notable was a violent, long-tracked F4 tornado that struck, Catania, Italy. In all, 1,064 people died. About 1,000 of those deaths were a direct result of the F4. This is the deadliest and costliest tornado outbreak in European history as well as the deadliest since the 1989 Daulatpur–Saturia tornado in Bangladesh to strike outside the U.S. It is also the 2nd deadliest tornado on record and the 2nd tornado to cause over 1,000 deaths.

Tornadoes confirmed

A total of 34+ tornadoes were confirmed, Causing a total of 1,064 deaths.

34+ 16 14 2+ 1+ 1 0

Meteorological synopsis

During the mid-evening of May 17, a band of intense thunderstorms around 1207 km (750 mi) across developed along a front that developed over Northern Algeria. The first tornado touched down at around 2:56 pm Local time (11:56 UTC) in In Salah, which was rated F0. The next tornado then touched down in northern Egypt, it was rated F2. A F3 caused significant damage and loss of life in Cairo, 48 people died from that storm. By far the most destructive and devastating tornado was an F4 that hit Catania in Italy. 1,004 people died, making it the deadliest tornado since the 1989 F3-F5 in Bangladesh. Overall, all tornadoes caused 2.6 Billion (2016 USD) in damages and 1,064 lives were lost.



1,004 people died from the tornado, ranging ages of 6-104. An additional 1,000 people were injured, making this by far the worst tornado to have ever hit the country. The setup for these storms are very typical in the Central Plains of the U.S, rather than Africa and Europe.


Total damages are thought to be at least 1.18 Billion USD. However, some researchers said it could be "significantly higher based on the fact that some buildings were swept away so clean that there was no evidence that a building was previously there". The same research team also stated that "The death toll could be higher because of government restriction in the city", the also stated that the death toll "Could've very well exceeded 2,000 had it struck Catania directly".


A state of emergency was declared for Italy in the wake of the tornado, and president Sergio Mattarella asked for worldwide aide. In the aftermath, a bill was proposed to install tornado sirens across the country as well as to mandate a way of having warnings. This was Vetoed, however, a similar proposal that required issuing a tornado warning, similar to the way the U.S does it, was passed. The first bill would become a mistake when a violent F5 tornado struck Venice in 2034.

See Also

2034 Venice tornado - A very large and similarly intense yet deadlier tornado.

1989 Daulatpur–Saturia tornado - A similarly deadly tornado that struck parts of Bangladesh in April 1989.

Crowe2003's notable Tornadoes from 2011-2020
2016 Springfield, Tennessee tornado2016 El Reno tornado2016 Waterloo, Iowa tornado2016 Perryville-Burgin tornado2016 Catania tornado2020 Wagga Wagga tornado2020 Lexington tornado2020 Pigeon Forge tornado2020 McPherson, Kansas tornado2020 Oneonta, Al tornado2020 Springfield, Oregon Tornado2020 Redding-Round Mountain tornado2020 Watsonville, California tornado2020 Palm Desert tornado2020 Ashland, Oregon tornado2020 Coachella tornado