How Do Tornadoes Form


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** How Do Tornadoes Form **

by Jerry Coffey on October 14, 2010

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How Do Tornadoes Form

Tornado in Kansas

How do tornadoes form? That is pretty easy to answer since there has been a
large amount of study into the subject. They are usually the extreme result
of a supercell thunderstorm. During the storm cold air and warm air combine
in a set pattern: the cold air drops as the warm air rises. The warm air
eventually twists into a spiral and forms the funnel cloud that we all
associate with a tornado.

The formation of a tornado follows a clear set of steps. First there a
change in wind direction and an increase in wind speed. This change occurs
at an increasing altitude and creates an invisible horizontal spinning
effect in the lower atmosphere. Next, rising air within the
thunderstorm’s updraft tilts the rotating air from horizontal to
vertical. Third, an area of rotation, 3-10 km wide is contained within a
vast majority of the storm. This is where the strongest tornadoes form.
Then a lower cloud base in the center of the storm becomes a rotating wall
cloud. This area can be nearly rain-free. Lastly, a tornado develops and
starts to wreak its destruction.

Once a tornado has formed, it follows a predictable life cycle. First, the
mesocyclone(rotating air), along with the rear flank downdraft( RFD),
starts moving towards the ground. A small funnel appears to build up at the
bottom of a wall cloud. As


how do tornadoes form

Tornado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Tornado **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the weather phenomenon. For other uses, see Tornado
For the current tornado season, see Tornadoes of 2013.
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A tornado near Anadarko, Oklahoma. The /funnel/ is the thin tube reaching
from the cloud to the ground. The lower part of this tornado is surrounded
by a translucent dust cloud, kicked up by the tornado's strong winds at the
surface. The wind of the tornado has a much wider radius than the funnel

Part of the nature series
Calendar seasons
· Spring
· Summer
· Autumn
· Winter

Tropical seasons
· Dry season
· Wet season

· Thunderstorm (Thundersnow)
· Supercell
· Downburst
· Lightning
· *Tornado*
· Waterspout
· Tropical cyclone (Hurricane)
· Extratropical cyclone
· Winter storm
· Blizzard
· Ice storm
· Dust storm
· Firestorm
· Cloud

· Drizzle (Freezing drizzle)
· Rain (Freezing rain)
· Snow (Rain and snow mixed â€¢ Snow grains  â€¢ Snow roller)
· Graupel
· Ice pellets
· Hail

· Meteorology
· Climate
· Weather forecasting
· Heat wave
· Air pollution
· Cold wave

Portal iconWeather portal
· v
· t
· e

A *tornado* is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with
both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases,
the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as *twisters* or
*cyclones*,^[1] although the word cyclone is used in meteorology, in a
wider sense, to name any closed low pressure circulation. Tornadoes come in
many shapes and sizes, but they are typically in the form of a visible
condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and


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