Visual Encyclopedia

Tornado

A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. The windstorm is often referred to as a twister, whirlwind or cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology to name a weather system with a low-pressure area in the center around which winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, and they are often visible in the form of a condensation funnel originating from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud, with a cloud of rotating debris and dust beneath it. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 mph, are about 250 ft across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 mph, are more than 2 mi in diameter, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).

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Tornado photobomb!

If there was a tornado behind me, I don't think that I would be looking the other way. I would also probably be in the car with the pedal to the floor.

Contributed by Ben Trabing

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Tornadoes are not just measured by their wind speed, but also by the damage that they produce.

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Its amazing how tornadoes form.

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Tornadoes are very dangerous. I experienced one in Springfield,Ma on June 1, 2011

Contributed by Kell Leigh

With the weather starting to change it's very important to keep an eye on the sky. In the spring weather can change quickly, especially in tornado alley. Have a way to get notifications when severe weather is approaching because you don't want to be caught in the middle of mother nature's furry.

Contributed by Max Mueller

Tornado Safety

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