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TORNADOES. Causes/ Scale / Linked to Global Warming??. Worst Tornado Ever. The infamous “Tri – state” Tornado of March 18 1925, swept through the northern part of Missouri and southern Indiana and Illinois.

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Causes/ Scale / Linked to Global Warming??

Worst tornado ever
Worst Tornado Ever

The infamous “Tri – state” Tornado of March 18 1925, swept through the northern part of Missouri and southern Indiana and Illinois.

It moved along a 350km track at speeds of 100 – 120km/hr. This Tornado caused F5 damage and took 695 lives.

Weather conditions in the are that day spawned 6 more tornadoes, which killed 51 more people and caused widespread damage.


Sometimes people confuse tornadoes with tropical storms – both cause deadly weather spirals by rising warm air

Beyond that – they are very different

Tornado season spans spring and summer

Tropical storms – summer / fall


Develop over land – not water.

Do not create storm surges

They drop down from the clouds

The spiral of a tornado is its trademark, much tighter and faster-spinning than a hurricane.

Tornadoes can occur worldwide, but most happen in USA (1200 annually) and Canada (100)

Tornado alley1
Tornado Alley

The map shows that tornadoes occur over the eastern part of North America, including Canada.

1980’s – “Twisters” tore into Barrie ON, Edmonton Alberta – taking a total of 38 lives.

The states of Kansas and Oklahoma are the heartland of tornado country – called Tornado Alley.

Fujita ef scale1

A tornado is one of the fastest moving natural phenomena s on earth.

The severity of a twister is measured by the Fujita Scale.

Originally it was called the F-Scale

2007 – the E was added – meaning ‘enhanced’


Tornadoes are likely to occur when warm, humid air and colder air are close to one another.

This happens when the warm air from the Gulf of Mexico flows North and mixes with the cold arctic air from Canada.


As humid air rises during the daytime, columns of colder air rush down to the ground to take it’s place.

Sometimes, the rising air begins to rotate around a cold air column. This forms a funnel of spiraling warm air called a Vortex.

Global warming
Global Warming??

Ocean seas are rising, which has led some people to conclude that global warming will probably cause more severe tornadoes.

To date, scientific research has NOT proved the connection.

Follow up questions
Follow up Questions

  • Make a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast a tornado to a tropical storm.

  • Ontario is sometimes struck by tornadoes. Prepare a community Tornado Emergency Plan.

    • (a) prepare people in advance

    • (b) design a way to alert people