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TORNADOES

What are they and How Do They Form?


A tornado is a rotating column
of air with high wind speeds &
low central pressure
Tornadoes develop out of
thunderstorms
Tornadoes form when warm
moist air is lifted into the
atmosphere, collides with cool,
dry air, and starts to rotate
The rotating column of air
extends from the bottom of a
thundercloud to the ground

How do they form?


Were not 100% sure. but we think its when

1. Warm, moist air and cold, dense air


collide and start to rotate
2. High altitude winds tilt the rotating
air vertically, creating the tornado

Where do tornadoes occur?


In the U.S., the most
tornadoes occur in areas
where warm, moist air from
the Gulf of Mexico collides
with cold, dry air from
Canada.
Tornado Alley (in yellow on
the map)
More tornadoes occur
here than anywhere else
in the world!
Approximately 1200
torrnadoes a year

Tornado Alley doesnt have a


defined boundary, but runs from
Texas to South Dakota and
includes states like Iowa and
Minnesota

When do tornadoes occur?

Tornadoes usually occur


in the spring and early
summer (May-June) but
the exact length of the
season differs by location

Parts of a Tornado
Funnel Cloud or Vortex: a
rotating column of air that
extends from the bottom of
the cloud

Tornado: a funnel
cloud/vortex that touches the
ground
Note: Some funnel clouds never become
tornadoes (if they never touch the ground)

How are Tornadoes classified?


Classified based on the Enhanced Fujita scale (EF Scale)
Ef Scale Wind speed
mph
km/h
EF0
65-85
105-137
EF1
86-110 138-177
EF2
111-135 178-217
EF3
136-165 218-266
EF4
166-200 267-322
EF5
> 200
> 322

Description
Light
Moderate
Considerable
Severe
Devastating
Incredible

EF Scale: Determines wind speed


based on damage

Toto....I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore...."