A tornado is a violently rotating air column that’s in contact with both the earth surface and the cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare instances, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are usually known as cyclones or twisters, even though the word cyclone is used in several meteorology cases, in a broader sense, to name a closed low-pressure circulation.
Tornadoes come in several sizes and shapes, but they are naturally in the form of a visible condensation funnel. The narrow end touches the earth and is usually encircled by a cloud of dust and debris. Most of the tornadoes have wind speeds less than 180 km/h (110 miles per hour), are approximately 80 meters (250 feet) across and travel some miles (many kilometers) before dissipating.
The most severe tornadoes can even reach wind speeds of over 480 km/h (300 miles per hour), stretch over 3 kilometers (2 miles) across, and remain on the ground for many miles (over 100 km).
Different types of tornadoes include multiple vortex tornado, landspout, and waterspout. Waterspouts are generally characterized by the spiraling funnel-shaped wind current, connecting to a massive cumulonimbus or cumulus cloud.
They are commonly classified as non-super cellular tornadoes which develop over various water bodies, but there’s a significant disparity over whether to categorize them as true tornadoes. These spiraling air columns regularly extend in tropical areas near to the equator and are not uncommon at high latitudes.
Other tornado-like phenomena which exist naturally include the fire whirls, dust devil, gustnado, and the steam devil; downbursts are commonly confused with the tornadoes, although their action is different.
Tornadoes have occurred on each continent except Antarctica. Nevertheless, the immense majority of tornadoes happen in the Tornado Alley area of the US, though they can occur almost anywhere in North America.
They also irregularly occur in northern and east-central South America, eastern and south-central Asia, Southern Africa, southeast and northwestern Europe, Southeastern and Western Australia, and New Zealand.
Tornadoes can be identified before or as they happen through the use of a Pulse-Doppler radar through the identification of patterns in reflectivity and velocity data, like debris balls or hook echoes, as well as through the storm spotter’s efforts.
There are many scales for rating the strength/power of tornadoes. The Fujita scale is designed to measure hurricanes by the degree of damage and has been replaced in some nations by the updated Enhanced Fujita Scale. An EF0 or F0 tornado, the weakest type, destroys trees, but not significant structures.
An EF5 or F5 tornado, the most robust classification, destroys buildings off their foundations and can even damage massive skyscrapers. The same TORRO scale ranges from a T0 for profoundly weak tornadoes to T11 for the incredibly powerful recognized hurricanes.
Photogrammetry, Doppler radar data, and the ground swirl patterns (commonly known as cycloidal marks) may also be evaluated to determine its intensity and assign an accurate rating.
Tornadoes differ in intensity no matter location, size, and shape, even though powerful hurricanes are typically bigger than weak tornadoes. The association with track duration and length also differs, though longer track tornadoes seem to be stronger. For violent tornadoes, only a minor portion of the path possesses strong intensity, most of the higher intensity from sub-vortices.
Tornadoes usually strike as a powerful rotating mixture of thunderstorm clouds and wind, extending from the shadows to the Earth surface in a funnel shape. They are known to be the most destructive and powerful atmospheric generated phenomena (wind systems).
They are very common in the United States of America, specifically from the middle belt extending to the east coast. Each year, there are about 800 tornadoes which hit different parts of the United States.
Although several of them are very mild and could seen as only high winds, there has been some tornadoes which have destroyed several schools, homes, and structures along its path.
Tornadoes incidents are spread all year through forming especially in late spring (March), with many events happening in the summer (June and May), and decreasing in numbers and even strengths in the fall.
Top 10 Interesting Tornado Facts:
1. Texas has the highest number of tornadoes in the United States annually! An average of 132 tornadoes usually touches Texas soil every year.
2. Waterspouts are tornadoes which form over a water body.
3. A strong tornado can even pick a house and only move it down the block.
4. South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas make up Tornado Alley. These are locations which tornadoes strike severally in the early summer and the spring.
5. Several houses in tornado alley have adamant basement shelters
6. Some individuals have witnessed a tornado and lived to tell a story about it.
7. Forks and knives have been found embedded in some tree trunks flung from a tornado.
8. Typically, a tornado starts off as a gray or white cloud, but if it occurs for quite sometimes, the debris and dirt it sucks up. Eventually changes it into the black one.
9. Three out of every four tornadoes in the world occur in the US.
10. Thunderstorms that most likely give rise to Tornadoes are known as supercells.