Tornadoes

Tornadoes are the most powerful, unpredictable and destructive weather systems on Earth. The National Weather Service (NWS) defines a Tornado as a violently rotating column of air in contact with the earth’s surface (land or water) and commonly associated with a severe thunderstorm. A tornado generally occurs when high winds within a low pressure system (such as a thunderstorm) cause water vapor in the air to condense in to a condensation funnel cloud. Many less severe tornadoes are not even visible to the human eye. Major tornadoes usually become more visible when the strong winds within the funnel lift up dirt and debris off the Earth’s surface. Tornadoes are generally classified as either a land spout (a tornado on land), a water spout (a tornado that forms over water) or a gustnado (a small tornado caused by a strong downburst of wind from a thunderstorm). The average tornado has maximum wind speeds of about 112 mph or less, measures around 250 feet in width and travels approximately one mile before falling apart. Some of the most catastrophic tornadoes in recorded history have had winds in excess of 300 miles an hour (twice that of a category 5 hurricane), have measured more than 2 miles in girth, and have carved devastating paths of destruction miles and miles in length.
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Slowest Start to Tornado Season in a Century
oklahoma tornado
April 22nd, 2014
A cold spring in the Midwest and Southwest brought a quiet start to tornado season this year, with the fewest twisters since 1915.
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Tornadoes in February? Why That's Not Uncommon
Severe Weather Map - Feb. 20, 2014
February 21st, 2014
An outbreak of severe weather battered parts of the midwestern and southern United States yesterday (Feb. 20), with damaging winds, strong storms and even several tornadoes reported in Illinois and Georgia.
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The Real Truth About Tornadoes (Op-Ed)
tornadoes, record tornadoes, tornado explainer, why we have so many tornadoes, Joplin Missouri tornado, jet stream, la nina, weather forecasting, tornado forecasting, severe thunderstorms
December 2nd, 2013
Is tornado frequency really increasing as the global climate warms?
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Tornado Survival Guide: What You Need to Know
Tornado over Millsap, Texas
March 27th, 2014
When a tornado hits, preparation plays a big role in you chances of survival.
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Natural Disasters Bring Risk of Fungal Infections
February 12th, 2014
Natural disasters can create conditions that put survivors at risk for fungal infections, which are often overlooked, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states.
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Thanksgiving's Seven Most Memorable Storms
Thanksgiving weather history, lake-effect snowstorm
November 26th, 2013
Mother Nature was not so kind for some Thanksgiving holidays in our country's history.
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Can Generation Y Improve the Response After Snowstorms, Tornadoes?
Coastal damage from Hurricane Sandy
July 31st, 2013
Code For America, nicknamed "Peace Corp for Geeks," has helped local governments create technological solutions for overlooked problems stemming from snowstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes.
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Twisted Tornado Facts to Know
A tornado touches down in Oklahoma City, Okla., on May 20, 2013.
March 17th, 2014
Here is everything you ever wanted to know about tornadoes.
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Stronger Tornadoes May Be Menacing US
Damage scar left by Moore tornado
December 11th, 2013
The trail of twisted metal and torn roofs left behind by massive twisters is growing longer and wider, a sign that tornadoes are stronger since the mid-1990s.
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Are You Safer From Tornadoes In A Valley?
Tornado Damage in Joplin, Mo.
September 6th, 2013
Scientists explore how topography affects tornado danger.
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