A Tornado is a violent, churning maelstrom of spinning winds sometimes filled with debris which destroys everything in its path. They’re one of the most violent and unpredictable forces in nature that can often strike without warning carrying innocent individuals by complete surprise. Continue reading this article for more information.
Tornadoes do occur in many regions of the world but they’re found most frequently in the spring and summer months over the Central Plains of the USA. In a normal year eight hundred tornadoes are reported here resulting in eighty deaths and almost fifteen hundred injuries.
These super mobile thunder storms are triggered by a unique blend of cold air from the north, warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico from the south and dry air from the desert south-west. Sustained by powerful winds these ingredients can form super cell thunderstorms that can produce tornadoes.
The Fujita Scale for tornadoes was invented in 1971. It’s a scale for rating tornado intensity based on the damage they inflict on structures and vegetation. The scale reads as follows:
Some of the most recent records of tornadoes include:
May 3, 1999 ‘The Moore Oklahoma City F5’. This tornado grew for a mile wide spinning at 300 miles traveling a distance of over 35 miles for 40 minutes. This tornado caused more than one billion dollars damage. Thirty six people lost their lives and five hundred and eighty three people were hurt.
July 24, 2003 ‘The Manchester Wedge’. It was on the floor for 20 minutes and ravaged the town of Manchester, South Dakota. A wedge tornado is where the distance throughout the tornado is larger than the distance to the cloud base from the floor. They may touch down as the slender funneled tornado and sustained by storms usually of 200 mph stir up dirt and dust enlarging the base width.
This tornado was 200 yards wide and travelled 2 kilometers. It was the worst of a number of tornadoes to hit Kansas was that year.
November 12, 2005 ‘The Woodward Tornado’. It caused considerable damage to a number of communities.
Tornadoes follow along a path determined by the storms cell itself. If it undergoes a change in direction you must have the time to make adjustments accordingly. It’s the unpredictability of tornadoes that make them deadly forces of nature. If you must ask’how close is too close?’
How can one survive a tornado? Experts concur that taking shelter under an overpass affords almost no protection and it may be one of the worst decisions you may make. The reason is that the higher you move up a tornado, the greater the wind speed. By ascending to the girders of the overpass there’s more risk here of a wind tunnel sucking or blowing you out of the overpass.
It is the debris in tornadoes like wood metal and glass travelling at 200 mph which causes fatalities and shreds structures in their path. Seek shelter indoors in the lowest level rather a basement. If outside however, take cover in a low area such as a ditch.
The threat of tornadoes will always be present and the only way to make ourselves less vulnerable to tornadoes is to create a storm shelter in our dwelling. If you do nothing to enhance the construction of your house, you will have no security at all.
The unpredictability of tornadoes can surprise even the most experienced storm chasers and the most educated meteorologists. These specialists spend months trying to chase down these elusive twisters but all too often tornadoes touch down where people least expect them to strike. No amount of study will render tornadoes totally predictable. There are so many environmental variables that come into play. It’s therefore extremely challenging to have the ability to alert the public to the threat of a tornado.
A tornado warning is an alert issued by climate services to inform areas that a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted or their radar show indications of a possible tornado. Warnings are issued by TV, radio and sirens. It’s the hope of every weather forecaster that the public are taking heed of the data being supplied to them.