Monday 20 May 2013

Tornadoes, Twisters or Whirlwinds

In the wake of the F5 tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma today, here are ten things you may not know about twisters.

1.  Tornadoes are rapidly spinning tubes which touch both the ground and a cloud above.


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2. Not all tornadoes are visible, but many have a rapid rotation and high wind speeds which form a visible funnel of condensed water.

Topeka Tornado of 1966 courtesy

3.  Wind speeds range from less than 100 miles per hour to over 300 miles per hour.

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4.  Many tornadoes travel a few miles and peter out, but some travel over 100 miles.

Tri-state tornado of 1925 courtesy 

5.  The Fujita Scale measures tornadoes, with an F0 being the mildest and an F5 being the deadliest.

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6.  The Tri-State Tornado (Missouri, Illinois, Indiana) was the deadliest in American history, killing 695 people.

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7.  Twelve hundred tornadoes hit Tornado Valley each year on average, mainly in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Florida.

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8.  Southern hemisphere tornadoes rotate clockwise while northern hemisphere tornadoes rotate counterclockwise.

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9.  Tornadoes over the water are called waterspouts.

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10.  Weather radars are used to detect tornadoes and give the public advance warning.

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