Science 101 Wikia

They can be long and clear or large and dark. They can produce winds above 250 m.p.h. and can wipe an entire town clean. Tornadoes can touchdown anywhere in the U.S., even around the world. From a distance, they may look magnestic and amazing, but from up close, you should take cover and hold on tight. 


So what exactly is a tornado? A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and the atmosphere. They can be often referred as twisters and even by the mis-used named cyclones. 

Tornado Chart


How to do tornadoes form? Basically the first thing for tornadoes to form is there generators or thunderstorms. When warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, warm dry air from the southwest and cold dry air from the north all spill over the Great Plains. You will basically see the puffy cumulus clouds. Next, when the ground get warmer and warmer, more clouds start to build up into the towering cumulnimbus clouds. This stage of thunderstorm formation is known as towering cumulus stage. Generally during this stage, the three conditions to forming towering thunderstorms like the moisture, an unstable airmass and lifting force (heat). The air tends to rise in an updraft through the process of convection (the term convective precipation). This creates a low-pressure zone beneath the forming thunderstorm. In a typical thunderstorm has approximately 5x10^8 kg of water vapor is lifted into the Earth's atmosphere. 

The second thing for thunderstorms to form and power up is the warmed air continues to rise until it reaches an area of warmer air and can rise no father, this is known as the mature stage. Thunderstorms can form into supercells by strong winds aloft, from the lower troposphere. To make the storm rotate, winds from the surface moce a spiral pattern and the updraft and downdraft will be seperate. Now that the storm has a constant food or energy source is has a lot of power to damage. 

Mature Stage of a thunderstorm

What happens next is very hard to see, but it can be explained by meteorological terms. When strong changes


Fujita Scale

Seasons and Locations