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What is a tornado?

By Rohini Khapre - Ghawalkar - March 30, 2017

What is a tornado? A tornado is a violent rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. Most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with, wind speeds of up to 300mph. Tornadoes destroy buildings, uproot trees, hurl vehicles hundreds of yards,and also drive straw into trees. Tornadoes can damage paths in excess of 1 mile wide to 50 miles wide.In an average year, 1000 tornadoes are reported. They appear as a traditional funnel shape or in a slender rope-like form. Some have a churning smokey look while others contain "multiple vortices",small individual rotating around a common center. Some are nearly invisible, you can only see swirling dust or debris at ground levels. Funnel clouds start rotating cone-shape Lou new of air extending downward from the bas of thunderstorms. They usually don't touch the ground. When it reaches the ground then it is called a tornado. Tornado researchers still do not fully understand how tornadoes die,form,and also grow. They are still trying to solve the tornado puzzle. Every piece that seem to fit uncovers new pieces that need to be studied.  

What are other types of tornadoes?

Waterspouts are weak tornadoes which form over water, most common along the GulfCoast. Waterspouts sometimes move inland,becoming tornadoes cause damage and injuries. 

Real life tornado incidents:

Yesterday in my neighbor hood at 2:35 a.m., we got a tornado warning. There was a tornado siren right next to us so that, we could be warned. Eventually there was no tornado. I was really glad when I found out. Instead there was a REALLY big storm throughout the night. No one was hurt or injured for the rest of the night.

Safety Tips: 

  • Tornadoes occur at any time
  • No terrain is safe from a tornado
  • Never open windows in weather situations
  • Have a disaster plan
  • Make sure everyone knows where to go in case of a tornado 
 

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