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Tornadoes. Basic Description. An extremely severe thunderstorm Size: Small funnel cloud Several feet to a mile wide. Where/When they occur. Where: Tornado Alley In the Great Plains of the US When: Spring and Early Summer Late afternoon when the ground is warm

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basic description
Basic Description
  • An extremely severe thunderstorm
  • Size:
    • Small funnel cloud
    • Several feet to a mile wide
where when they occur
Where/When they occur
  • Where:
    • Tornado Alley
      • In the Great Plains of the US
  • When:
    • Spring and Early Summer
    • Late afternoon when the ground is warm
  • # per year: 800 in the US
how they are formed
How they are formed
  • Formation
    • Develop in cumulonimbus clouds (Thunderstorm clouds)
    • Warm humid air mass meets a cold dry air mass causing Thunderstorms
    • Only strong Thunderstorms cause tornadoes
  • Life Span
    • About 10 minutes
speed
Speed
  • Travels at a speed of: 40 mph
  • Wind speed: up to 300 mph
damage
Damage
  • Damage
    • Strong winds
    • Flying debris
    • Rain, Hail
  • Fujita Scale – categorized by damage, mph is only estimates based on damage
    • F0- < 73 mph; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over; sign boards damaged.
    • F1- 73-112 mph; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos blown off roads.
    • F2-113-157 mph; Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.
    • F3-158-206 mph ; Roofs torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted
    • F4- 207-260 mph ; Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance; cars thrown
    • F5- 260-318 mph; Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100
predicting
Predicting
  • Warnings/Watch
    • Watch: Tornadoes are possible
    • Warning: A tornado has been spotted
  • Predicted by:
    • Radar detects rotation of clouds
    • Tornadoes develop quickly, so very hard to predict
  • Symbol on a map