13 Interesting Facts About Tornadoes That Will Blow Your Mind | Kidadl


13 Interesting Facts About Tornadoes That Will Blow Your Mind

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Tornadoes are giant columns of wind twisting and turning around themselves.

Windstorms can be weak or strong. Sometimes, they can strike quickly without any warning.

Generally, tornadoes are formed from a thunderstorm and hence extend from the base of the storm to the ground. Tornadoes can be very strong and are even capable of uprooting houses and trees. They can happen at any time of the year in any place.

As they can be destructive, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs of tornado activity. You should also know about tornado activities so that you can ensure your safety. If a tornado comes, you should seek a safe place. Preferably seek shelter in a basement (or the lowest floor possible), in an underground room, or in a panic room to stay safe. Try to stay abreast of the latest news using a radio or the internet. After the tornado, you should keep an ear out for any news; stay away from damaged buildings. Stay away from broken wires or electrical lines and take photos for your insurance claim. A tornado siren is an important alert sound to inform you to take cover.

A few types of tornado include a supercell tornado, which is a sizeable, long-lived thunderstorm. A waterspout is another tornado that forms over water, ending when it hits land. These tornadoes usually dissipate when they hit land. A land spout is a weak tornado that occurs on land. A gustnado is a small-scale tornado. A multiple vortex tornado has multiple vortexes spinning at the same time. Let's find out more facts about tornadoes below.

Do you like reading about our wondrous nature and the magical things it possesses? If so, be sure to check out more articles like facts about Belarus and facts about Botswana here on Kidadl.

What is a tornado?

Thunderstorms are wild and short-lived weather disturbances; they are usually accompanied by very thick and dense cloud forms, which are usually dark in color. They might also have lightning, heavy rains and winds, as well as hail storms. Thunderstorms are formed when moist warm gusts start to rise upwards towards colder regions of the atmosphere. Such thunderstorms are the cause of tornadoes. Tornadoes can be formed from funnel clouds which then extend into a large gust column.

Tornadoes, also known as twisters, are basically strong gusts of powerful whirling winds. They are formed due to violent thunderstorms. They then form a massive column that stretches from the clouds to the ground. A condensation funnel is formed due to the wind, dust, and debris that it picks up as it moves along its path. Tornadoes are incredibly difficult to study because they are an incredible force of nature and can destroy everything in their path. Scientists are stumped on ways to study tornadoes to understand them better as any measuring equipment will be destroyed by this unpredictable force of nature. They are usually characterized by having dark clouds, rumbling sounds, frequent thunder, and lightning. Sometimes you can even see a funnel cloud at the base of the thunderstorm. It might be hidden behind a veil of hail or rain.

Did you know that dogs can sense tornadoes? Dogs have very sharp senses, which help them know when a twister or a storm is approaching.

How are tornadoes formed?

Now that we know what tornadoes(twisters) are and how much damage they can cause, it is also essential to study them to understand how they start. Tornadoes can be detected by different equipment to a limited extent. The Doppler effect has made it possible to detect tornado warning signs such as winds from the radar. But humans are most efficient in identifying tornadoes. Tornado watch is important to understand current weather conditions and know if there is a chance for a tornado to develop. Whenever any citizens/volunteers look for tornado warning signs and detect tornadoes coming, they work with their local communities to take appropriate required actions. This network of people who are on tornado watch is called the SKYWARN, storm spotters who work to alert residents about tornado warnings.

Tornadoes are formed when cold air collides with warm air in the atmosphere. There is an updraft created due to rising gusts. Change in wind speeds and direction at high altitudes causes these gusts to start rotating horizontally. This continues as the air keeps rotating, and as a result, more warm gusts move upwards until the twister is stretched from the funnel cloud to the ground. When this column is twirling around touching the surface of the Earth, it becomes a tornado!

Tornado alley, which includes southern states like Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, northern Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma, is often home to the most destructive and powerful storms. Tornadoes in the USA can cause 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries per year.

How fast can a tornado go?

Tornado strikes can be strong or weak. Weak tornadoes are sometimes even invisible as they have not picked up any debris. Weather radar can tell us if there are strong tornadoes with high wind speed. Tornadoes used to be measured by F-scale or Fujita scale. The F-scale denotes each tornado from F0 to F5 depending upon the intensity of the tornado. Tornado winds get up to 250 mph (402 kmh) and can demolish a pathway a mile wide and 50 mi (80 km) long.

Since 2007, tornadoes have been rated on an Enhanced Fujita scale. The EF scale gives a better reading of wind speeds and intensity of the tornado. Tornadoes can be classified into three broad groups based on their intensity. Twisters that reach speeds of 65mph to 110 mph (104-177 kmh) are considered weak tornadoes and denoted as EF0 or EF1. Wind speeds of 111mph to 165 mph (178-265 kmh) are a strong tornado. They are denoted as EF2 or EF3. Lastly, severe winds of speeds 166mph (267 kmh) or more are violent tornados. They are classified into EF4 and EF5 depending on the high frequency.

One of the deadliest recorded tornado with powerful winds occurred in 1989 in Bangladesh. It traveled through the Dhaka region. In the process, it destroyed almost 20 villages and killed more than 1,300 people. Most tornadoes actually happen in the United States of America in a path stretching from northern Texas to North Dakota. This stretch of land can see more than 200 tornadoes every year! This region is found in southern plains of the USA. This pathway created by hurricanes is called the Tornado Alley.

Tornadoes can destroy buildings.

What was the longest tornado?

Tornadoes can be very interesting to learn about. Some interesting facts about tornadoes include that even though they can happen at any time, they are most likely to crop up between 3 pm and 9 pm. Furthermore, they can seem almost transparent until the giant vortex sucks in all the dust, trees, and debris. If tornadoes happen over a water body, they are called waterspouts. Tornadoes can be long and strong sometimes. The longest tornado can be measured in terms of the time it lasted, the distance that it traveled, and the tornado's damage.

In the history of recorded tornadoes, a tornado that occurred in Ellington, Missouri and traveled to Princeton, Indiana is one of the longest tornadoes. This tornado from Ellington to Princeton is also called the tri-state tornado. It traveled in the north direction for 183 mi (294 km) out of the total 219 mi (352 km) it traveled. It remained on the ground for 3.5 hours! It caused a lot of damage, and it is estimated that this damage caused took the lives of around 695 people. This happened in 1925. The average speed with which it moved straight was approximately 62 mph (27.7 m/s) and it attained a maximum speed of 73 mph (32.6 m/s). The record of a tornado that had the widest path is known as El Reno. Occurring in 2013, it had a width of 2.6 mi (4.2 km) according to the National Weather Service.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about tornadoes, then take a look at facts about Haiti or facts about Guyana.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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