What is a tornado?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2017-04-17 02:04:09

A tornado is a violent, whirling windstorm that crosses land in

a narrow path. It can result from wind shear and updrafts inside a

thunderstorm. The usual form is a funnel-shaped cloud with

destructive spinning winds, that descends from a cloud to the

ground over a relatively short period of time.

Powerful tornadoes create the highest wind speeds on the surface

of the Earth, which may be in excess of 200 mph (320 kph). The

winds and debris will destroy houses and similar structures, and

may cause numerous fatalities. Tornadoes are spawned by

mesocyclones, and also form as tropical cyclones come ashore.

According to the Glossary of Meteorology (AMS 2000), a tornado

is "A violently rotating column of air, pendant from a cumuliform

cloud or underneath a cumuliform cloud, and often (but not always)

visible as a funnel cloud." Literally, in order for a vortex to be

classified as a Tornado, it must be in contact with the ground and

the cloud base. Weather scientists haven't found it so simple in

practice, however, to classify and define Tornadoes.

Tornado is sometimes referred to as "twister". A tornado is a

rotating column of air in contact with the ground and looks like a

funnel cloud.

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.