What is a tornado exactly?

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air, comes from a cumulonimbus cloud, and is almost always observable as a '' funnel cloud'' or tuba. Tornadoes come when a thunderstorm is occurring. A tornado forms from a column of winds spiraling around the center of low atmospheric pressure.

Did you know?

The process forms a channel through which electricity is transferred as lightning.

Some types of lightning never leave the clouds but travel between differently charged areas within or between clouds.

Lightning is extremely hot. A flash can heat the air around it to temperatures five times hotter than the sun’s surface.



Look for shelter under a sturdy table. Try to get in a basement. If you don't have a basement then go to the first floor in your house.

Stay away from windows. If you are in a vehicle, then drive at a right angle away from the storm movement. People that get under objects survive.

If you are in your house and you don't have a basement then the closet or the bathroom tub would be the safest place.

Try to stay out of big rooms. If you only have big rooms then get under something sturdy. Large rooms are very unsafe.

Poorly supported roofs are very dangerous. A gym is a bad place to be during a tornado.



Can you imagine how much damage 320 miles per hour wind can cause? Tornadoes can take buildings down.

About 2,000 people are killed worldwide each year. Tornadoes can cause millions of dollars in damage.

Tornadoes kill people by the dust that it picks up or the things it knocks down.


Funnel Cloud

Tornadoes are not necessarily visible. The intense low pressure which causes the high wind speeds and rapid rotation usually causes water vapor in the air to become visible as a funnel cloud. When a funnel cloud extends halfway between the cloud base and the ground, it is considered a tornado. Sometimes one funnel cloud will form two tornadoes. Most tornadoes produce strong winds at the surface while the funnel cloud is above the ground. So it is difficult to tell the difference between a tornado and a funnel cloud for a distance.



Tornadoes normally rotate counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in southern direction. Large-scale tornadoes always rotate cyclonic-ally due to the Coriolis effect. One percent of tornadoes rotate in an anticyclonic direction. It is very rare if a tornado rotates in a anticyclonic direction.



Lightning is spectacular but it is also dangerous. About 3,000 people are killed by lightning every year. Hundreds more survive strikes but suffer from a variety of lasting symptoms including memory loss, dizziness, weakness, and numbness. Lightning is extremely hot! Some types of lightning never leaves the clouds. Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity accompanied by thunder, which usually occurs during thunderstorms.


Government Responses

In the United States, immediate post-impact response activities in natural disaster are normally the responsibility of local government. The role of local government in natural disasters is a topic of longstanding interest in the field of disaster research. They discovered an exception to this pattern of local control over immediate post-impact disaster response activities.


The Biggest Tornado

The 1999 Oklahoma tornado was a severe event that lasted from May 3 until May 6, 1999 and brought violent storms to Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee. This tornado was a F5 before it touched the ground. This tornado caused 1.1 billion dollars in damage. Forty-eight people died during the tornado. The day started out sunny and humid. By 3 p.m. tornado warnings started. At 5 p.m. the tornado came and destroyed towns.