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Hurricanes and Tornadoes Hurricanes Formation of a Hurricane Hurricanes are storms that form over tropical waters. The hurricanes that affect the eastern coast of the United States form off the western coast of Africa where the water is warm, the air is humid, and the winds converge .

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Formation of a Hurricane

  • Hurricanes are storms that form over tropical waters. The hurricanes that affect the eastern coast of the United States form off the western coast of Africa where the water is warm, the air is humid, and the winds converge.


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Hurricanes start out as a group of storms that begin to rotate when they meet converging winds. These storms create violent seas that send more moisture into the air. The water vapor rises and helps the wind increase in speed. If the storm holds itself together for 24 hours, we call it a tropical disturbance.

Tropical Disturbance


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Tropical cyclones are areas of low pressure that develop over tropical waters. We call them tropical depressions if their wind speeds are more than 25 mph and less than 38 mph. A tropical disturbance becomes a tropical depression if it lasts more than 24 hours.

Tropical Depression


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A tropical depression becomes a tropical storm when its winds rise above 38mph. It is called a tropical storm if the winds are between 39 and 73 mph.

Tropical Storm



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Category 1 – Winds between 74- 95 mph 73 mph.

Category 2 – Winds between 96- 110 mph

Category 3 – Winds between 111-130 mph

Category 4 – Winds between 131-155 mph

Category 5 – Winds above 156 mph

Hurricane Categories


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Hurricanes can be very big, even as big as the state of Ohio! They can be seen from outer space.

The entire formation and life of a hurricane takes days or weeks.

Because hurricanes seldom travel in straight paths, meteorologists predict several paths.

Hurricanes usually lose power as they travel over land.

Hurricanes destroy beaches, buildings, and vegetation.

Hurricanes bring strong winds, heavy rain, storm surges, flooding, and tornadoes.

Hurricane Facts


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Watch weather forecasts. Ohio! They can be seen from outer space.

Board up all windows and doors

Have bottled water, food, batteries, medicine, and important documents

Call someone and let them know where you are

Photograph valuables for insurance

Take care of your pets

Hurricane Protection


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Hurricane Isabel Ohio! They can be seen from outer space.


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Tornadoes Ohio! They can be seen from outer space.


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Other Names for Tornadoes Ohio! They can be seen from outer space.

  • Tornado comes from the Spanish word, tronada, which means “thunderstorm.” Other names for tornadoes are twisters, dust devils, whirlwinds, waterspouts, and cyclones.


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Tornadoes form from severe thunderstorms. In severe thunderstorms, winds are moving in different directions and at different speeds at different heights. This difference in wind direction and wind speed is called wind shear.

How do they Form?


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A strong updraft tilts the wind shear and produces rotation inside the tornado. A funnel cloud appears.


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Tornadoes are 400-500 feet wide. Tornadoes have winds around 100 miles per hour.

Tornadoes last only a few minutes.

Some monster tornadoes are a mile wide, have winds up to 300 mph, last an hour or more, and travel 200 miles.

Tornadoes occur most often in the spring (April- June)

Most tornadoes in the US occur along “Tornado Alley,” an area that runs from Texas to Illinois.

Tornado Facts


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Did Dorothy from the 100 miles per hour.Wizard of Oz live in “Tornado Alley?”


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The Fujita-Pearson Tornado Intensity Scale or F-scale ranks tornadoes by their wind speed.

F0- winds 40-72 mph

F1- winds 73-112 mph

F2- winds 113-157 mph

F3 – winds 158-206 mph

F4 – winds 207-260 mph

F5 – winds > 261 mph

Tornado Categories


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Go to a basement, if you have one. tornadoes by their wind speed.

Get in the innermost room of your house. Avoid rooms with windows. Bathrooms are good.

Crouch with arms above your head.

If outside, lie in a ditch or get under a bridge.

If you live in an area with a frequency of tornadoes, listen to forecasts.

Tornado Precautions


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Review tornadoes by their wind speed.

  • Which is larger, a hurricane or a tornado?

  • Which moves faster, a hurricane or a tornado?

  • Which lasts longer?

  • Where do hurricanes form?

  • Where do tornadoes form?

  • What do we call the area of the US that has a high occurrence of tornadoes?

  • How long do tornadoes last?

  • How long do hurricanes last?

  • Name two precautions in the event of a tornado.

  • Name two precautions in the event of a hurricane.


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