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Tornadoes

A tornado or twister is a violent, rotating column of air which typically has a speed ranging from 177 km/h to over 480 km/h. This devastating windstorm is usually characterized by its funnel-shaped cloud that extends toward the ground.

Asked in Tornadoes

What causes tornadoes?

Tornadoes are caused by the interaction of weather systems, which create large thunderstorms (the most powerful and long-lived type is called a supercell). The winds created by the growth and motion of these storms may create vortices (funnel clouds) that can descend to reach the ground, and move along the ground as tornadoes. The formation of tornadoes is complicated. First, you need thunderstorms, then you need a condition called wind shear, in which the speed or direction of the wind changes with altitude. If...
Asked in Meteorology and Weather, Hurricanes Typhoons and Cyclones, Tornadoes

How are tornadoes and hurricanes similar?

Hurricanes and tornadoes are both natural disasters that produce powerful, destructive winds that spiral cyclonically inwards via low pressure (clockwise in the southern hemisphere, counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere). Hurricanes have a calm, clear eye at the center of rotation and it is believed that many tornadoes have a similar feature. Both have scales for rating intensity: Tornadoes are rated on the Fujita scale from F0 to F5 based on damage, some countries, including the United States have upgraded to the Enhanced Fujita scale...
Asked in Hurricanes Typhoons and Cyclones, Tornadoes, Survival Tips

Where is the safest place to go during a tornado?

Generally speaking, you want to be as low to the ground as possible during severe tornado conditions. A basement is ideal, as particularly powerful tornadoes can tear buildings apart. If you don’t have access to an underground space, being near the center of the building is the next best plan, staying away from any windows, as flying debris is one of the greatest dangers during these storms. If your interior bathroom has a bathtub, that...
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How are tornadoes formed?

Meteorologists still do not know exactly how tornadoes form, or why. But many facts are known. Tornado Formation Tornadoes almost always form in strong thunderstorms which develop along what is called a "dry line." A dry line is a boundary between warm, moist air and cooler, drier air which tries to slip over it. This causes a tremendous instability in the atmosphere, as warm air rises, and cooler air wants to sink. As the warmer, more humid air surges upward through the cooler air...
Asked in Hurricanes Typhoons and Cyclones, Tornadoes

What is the difference between a hurricane and a tornado?

Hurricanes and tornadoes are both damaging windstorms, but they are very different phenomena. One is a large weather system and the other is an isolated weather event. A hurricane is a huge airmass that can be more than 1000 miles across, while a tornado is seldom more than 1 mile across, and often much less. Hurricanes A hurricane (also known as a cyclone or typhoon) is a very large,swirling storm with strong winds and heavy rains. It consists of an area of closed,...
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What is the most devastating tornado ever recorded in the United states?

The most devastating tornado in U.S. history was the Tri-State tornado of March 18, 1925. This tornado tore a 219 mile long damage path across part of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, killing 695 people and destroying over 15,000 homes. ...
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How do tornadoes disappear?

What causes tornadoes to dissipate is not fully understood, but it is believed that cold thunderstorm outflow undercuts the parent circulation (mesocyclone) that drives the tornado, cutting of the warm air that drives the thunderstorm, causing it to weaken to the point that it can no longer sustain a tornado. ...
Asked in Tornadoes

What does density have to do with tornadoes?

Density is not directly related to tornadoes, but it does play a role in how they form. Cold air is denser than warm air and dry air is denser than moist air. When a dry and moist or a warm and cold air mass collide the less dense air mass is forced upwards and the moisture in it condenses. It is by the process that the thunderstorms that spawn tornadoes usually form. ...
Asked in Thunderstorms and Lightning, Tornadoes, Clouds

Can an isolated thunderstorm become a tornado?

A thunderstorm does not become a tornado. It can produce one. Yes, though. If the atmosphere is unstable enough and there is enough low-level wind shear, then an isolated storm can produce a tornado. ...
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Can a waterspout go over land?

A waterspout can transition from water to land but becomes a tornado as long as it is touching land; if it is not touching the ground it would be called a "funnel cloud". ...
Asked in Hurricanes Typhoons and Cyclones, Tornadoes

What is worst cyclone or tornado?

A cyclone is simply a large-scale area of low atmospheric pressure with closed cyclonic circulation. They may bring thunderstorms but are not necessarily severe. However, hurricanes and typhoons, which are a type of cyclone, are generally worse than tornadoes. Tornadoes can cause more severe damage on a local scale than cyclones of any type can, but their affects are over a much smaller area. ...
Asked in Tornadoes

How fast of wind speed does it take to start a tornado?

There is no set wind speed to that qualifies as a tornado, though different scales have minimum estimates ranging from 40mph to 65 mph. ...
Asked in Hurricanes Typhoons and Cyclones, Tornadoes

Which is deadlier a Tornado or a Hurricane?

A hurricane can inflict a higher death toll than a tornado largely because it affects a much bigger area. Also, there are more ways that hurricanes can kill. Most tornado deaths result from flying or falling debris, and some other result from people being thrown. Hurricanes can cause deaths be similar means, but most hurricane deaths result from flooding caused either by the storm surge or heavy rain. The rainfall from hurricanes can also cause deadly landslides. However, tornadoes are more violent than hurricane...
Asked in Tornadoes, Word Games

What are some descriptive words for tornadoes?

scary, frightening, powerful, dangerous, destructive, deadly
Asked in Tornadoes

Where was the most powerful tornado?

The most powerful winds every recorded in a tornado were 301 mph. This measurement was taken from the F5 tornado that occurred near Oklahoma City on May 3, 1999. However, this may not have been the strongest tornado that ever occurred. but the most destructive and highest winds in the world Other tornadoes may have been stronger but were never recorded as such because no measurements were taken. ...
Asked in Tornadoes, Clouds

What kinds of clouds form tornadoes?

Technically, it's a process of multiple cloud levels. Tornadoes form from Funnel Clouds, which form from Wall Clouds, which form along the base of Cumulonimbus clouds. So you start with a Cumulonimbus cloud (also known as a thunderhead or thunderstorm cloud) and a wall cloud can form along the base it. A wall cloud is a lowered base of a storm that is rotating. Attached to several wall clouds, especially in moist environments, is a tail cloud,which is just a band of...
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Is the bath a safe place to hide during a tornado?

Yes. A bathtub is the next best thing to a storm cellar or basement. People taking shelter in bathtubs have survived even when the house was completely destroyed. ...
Asked in Tornadoes

How are tornadoes measured and tracked?

it used to be measured by the Fujita scale but now the enhanced fujita scale And they track it down by weather radar storm watching mostly by train spotters storm chasing using weather instruments ...
Asked in Tornadoes, Meteorology and Weather, The Sun

What is heat from the sun called?

That would be called Solar Radiation.
Asked in Tornadoes, Oceans and Seas, How To

How tornadoes happen at sea?

A Tornado At Sea would be Called a waterspout. There are two types of waterspout. Tornadic waterspouts form the same way as normal tornadoes do, only the form on or move onto water. For information on this, see the ling to the related question below. The second and more common type of waterspouts are fair weather waterspouts which are typically weaker than ordinary tornadoes. They typically form from developing thunderstorms over relatively water mater. They start when the water is warmer than the air...
Asked in Tornadoes

How far can a tornado travel?

It varies widely. The average tornado travels 5 miles before dissipating. But damage path may range from just a few yards long to over 100 miles. The longest distance on record that a tornado traveled was 219 miles. ...
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How is the strength of a tornado determined?

Tornado intensity is determined by damage, which is used to estimate wind speed. These wind speed estimates are used to sort a tornado into one of six categories from EF0 to EF5. ...
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Can a tornado hit thunder bay on?

Yes. Tornadoes do occur in that region.
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Is the core of a tornado safe?

No. The core of a tornado is the area in which the strongest winds occur. Although the center itself may be calm in some tornadoes, you would still have to get through the intense winds of the tornado both going in and going out. Additionally, this eyelike structure is much smaller than the eye of a hurricane and would not likely be over any particular spot for more than a few seconds. ...
Asked in Tornadoes

How does twister start?

The process of tornado formation starts when rolling air called wind shear gets taken into the updraft of a thunderstorm. This turns the storm into a supercell, a storm with a strong, rotating updraft called a mesocyclone. Under the right conditions a downdraft can descend from the back of the storm, wrap around the mesocyclone, and force it into a tighter more intense vortex: the tornado itself. ...