Video: Massive and Rare Fall Tornado in Italy

November 30, 2012; 5:33 AM ET
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A massive tornado hit a steel factory in Taranto, Italy, on Wednesday, injuring 20 workers.

Reuters: Storm adds to chaos at troubled Italy steel plant

Description of the video by YouTube poster Daniele Carbotti roughly translated from Italian:
"A tornado was seen, pointed at the industrial port of Taranto, that lifted considerable material from the ground... In fact, you see a flash caused by damage to electrical equipment... Now you hear a lot of ambulances, certainly within the industrial center to administer first aid... THE KIND OF THING I HAVEN'T EVER SEEN. I just hope no one was hurt."

Photos: Associazione Meteonetwork Puglia e Basilicata ONLUS Facebook page

The whole of Italy and the western Mediterranean is under the sway of a powerful fall storm. Weather observations from nearby Grottaglie show stormy weather starting at 0700 UTC (through at least 1200 UTC) Wednesday, including strong southeasterly winds, thunderstorms and downpours.

The climate of southern Italy is somewhat like that of California. The weather is wet and, at times, stormy in the cool months and much drier and quieter in the warm months. Rare tornadoes are consistent with such a climate in late fall/early winter.

"There have been a number of tornadoes in unusual parts of the world in the last couple of months," AccuWeather Enterprise Solution Senior Vice President Mike Smith said. "That is partly because there are no tornadoes occurring here [in the United States]. Because we have unusual high pressure over the U.S., there is low pressure in unusual areas on other parts of the hemisphere."

NOAA's map of the most tornado-prone areas in the world:

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