What is Tornado

Tornadoes require a large storm, winds blowing in opposite directions and a strong air current directed upwards.

Although small, tornadoes are the strongest storms in nature. They rush out of the clouds and, turning and twisting, wreak havoc – they destroy houses, throw cars, uproot trees. They say that the sound of a tornado approaching is similar to the thunder created by a huge freight train. With an average of 700 tornadoes per year, the United States ranks first in tornado frequency. There are more tornadoes in some U.S. states and fewer in some. From 1953 to 1980, Alaska had only one tornado, while there were more than 1,200 in Kansas. America has the most tornadoes due to its geographical location. Namely, westerly winds must cross the high Rocky Mountains, while on the other hand they are greeted by low warm humid winds from the Gulf of Mexico. These air masses collide over the central part of America and thus violent storms are born, including tornadoes. Australia, which ranks second in tornado frequency, has only 15 tornadoes a year.

Tornadoes are formed by various physical processes in the atmosphere, and the formation of tornadoes requires several conditions: instability of the atmosphere, lifting mechanisms and moisture in the middle and lower parts of the atmosphere. Near the ground, the unstable air mass is warm and humid, and relatively drier and colder in the upper parts of the atmosphere. Warm and humid parts of the air rise and meet the cold and drier ones. As the humidity increases, stronger condensation begins in the water droplets and then energy (heat) is released into the surrounding air, which is enough for the upward flow to continue to rise. This all happens in a Cloud Cloud, the most unstable and most dangerous of all 10 genera of clouds. The flow of warm air collides with other currents of colder descending air in the cloud, and then the cloud begins to show visible rotations that extend to the ground due to gravity.

Tornadoes require a big storm, winds blowing in opposite directions and a strong air current directed upwards. If you look at the big storm from above, you can see how the tops of the clouds swell and then descend, under the influence of strong air currents directed upwards. Sometimes, when the air in the ascending current begins to rotate under the influence of oppositely directed winds, a tornado occurs. This column of air that rises and rotates is called a mesocyclone. Such a mass of swirling air and clouds is called a vortex. The more air is drawn into the rotating part of the vortex, the lower the pressure in its center. It is not known how low this pressure can drop, but, according to some estimates, it can be twice less than normal air pressure. Some mesocyclones shrink, intensifying and spinning faster and faster. With the pressure drop in the center, the swirling air mass took on the well-known funnel-shaped tornado. The air that is drawn into the left gain accelerates upwards and increases the circumference of the swirling column.

Why is it thundering? How lightning strikes

A tornado can have the shape of a cup, or a thick pillar, or an elongated flexible tube. And the colors of tornadoes can be different. Initially, when a funnel cloud descends from the sky, it can be dirty white or gray. However, when dust rises from the ground, it often turns brown or red as clay. The wind speed in a tornado can reach 960 km ∕ h. Pieces of wood and metal picked up from the ground rush at the same speed and become deadly weapons. And because of the extremely low pressure in the center of the tornado, small enclosed buildings can explode when it passes over them.

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