Intro (What is a Tornado?)A tornado is a violently rotating column ofair that is in contact with both the surface ofthe earth and a cumulonimbus cloud; in somecases, it will be the base of a cumulus cloud.Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than110 miles per hour, are about 250 feetwide, and travel only a few miles before theydissipate.
How Does a Tornado Form?During a storm, cold airand warm air combine in aset pattern. The cold airdrops as the warm airrises. The warm aireventually twists into aspiral and forms the funnelcloud that we all associatewith a tornado.
Wall CloudsA wall cloud is a large, lowering cloud formation that developsbeneath the base of a cumulonimbus cloud that often formstornadoes.
Tornado Disasters• On May 22, 1987, between 8:15 p.m. and 8:20p.m., Saragosa, Texas, was devastated by aviolent, multiple-vortex tornado, with winds of 207-260mph.• On April 3-4, 1974, a super tornadooutbreak. It was the worsttornado outbreak in U.S. historyat that time with 148 twisterstouching down in 13 states.330 people were killed and5,484 were injured in adamaging path covering morethan 2,500 miles.http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=1766&page=60
Tornado Disasters• On May 11, 1953, the Waco Texas Tornado killed 114people. It is considered the deadliest tornado to ever hitTexas. The Waco storm damaged 600 businesses, 850homes and 2,000 cars.• On April 27, 2011, more than300 tornadoes (four of thosereaching the highest level onthe tornado severity scale, an EF5)ripped through theSoutheast, leveling wholetowns and killing 321 people.• On May 22, 2011, by another EF5tornado in Joplin, Missouri that wipedout the town and killed 158 people.Kucera, Martin, http://www.floridalightning.com/Storm_Chasing_2008.html
Water Spoutshttp://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/?n=waterspouts• A water spout is a rotatingcolumn of water and sprayformed by a whirlwind occurringover the sea or other body ofwater. (In other words, a tornadoover water).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterspout
Tornado Alley• Tornado Alley is anarea of the UnitedStates wheretornadoes are mostfrequent. There is noofficial locationwhere tornadoesform, but the areabetween the RockyMountains andAppalachianMountains are theareas usuallyassociated with it.http://www.tornadochaser.net/tornalley.html
Monitoring and Predicting Tornadoes• When predicting tornadoes, the Doppler radar willhelp a lot. The radars beam, which forcesmicrowaves into the precipitation and creates animage of the winds motion. This is too wide toproperly pinpoint the actual tornado. Therefore, theDoppler radar can only suggest that conditions areripe for a tornado to present itself.• Tornadoes send out ultra long-wave low-frequencysounds. These noises are known as infrasound.Infrasound detectors can signal the approach of atornado just minutes before it occurs.
Monitoring and Predicting Tornadoes• The MAPRs (Multiple Antenna Profiler Radar)antenna is continuously observing vertical windspeeds. This continuity in wind measurementsallows the radar to pick up on significant windshears that might be missed by Doppler radar.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8087823/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/storm-chasers-upgrade-high-tech-radar/
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Tornado Preparation• Make sure your car’s gas tank is full.• Be aware of changing weather conditions, especially darkening skies, rain, and risingwind. If you see a funnel cloud, you could have no more than five minutes to get toshelter. (If you can actually hear the tornado, you have only a few seconds).• Leave low areas because there might be flooding or high tides.• Listen for tornado watch updates and news.• If in the water or a boat, go to shore and find shelter.• Secure all outside furniture, barbecues, toys, etc.• Nail boards across windows and tape them over so that wind pressure doesn’t shatterthe panes.• Secure animals (and people!)• Learn how to perform CPR and administer first aid.• Check water, camping, emergency, and food supplies.• Move valuables to the side of the house away from the wind.• Have fresh batteries available for flashlights and portable radios.• Store water in plastic bottles, jugs, pots, pans, and bathtubs.• Try not to stay in a mobile home or R.V.• Be prepared to evacuate and know where to go.
Staying Safe During A Tornado• Hide in a storm cellar if you have one. Shelters should contain blankets, bottledwater, transistor radios and first-aid supplies.• If you are outside, try to find shelter inside a building.• If there is no storm cellar or shelter available, crouch in the southwest corner of yourbasement. If there is no basement, lie out flat on the floor under heavy furniture or abed. Some people have survived in bathtubs by pulling mattresses over themselves, orunder stairwells or in closets.• Surround yourself with a thick blanket for added protection.• If you are outside, move away from the tornado’s path at a right angle.• Do not stay in a building with a freestanding roof, like an auditorium or gym.• If the tornado is too close for you to find shelter, lie on the ground in a ditch.• Stay in the lowest story of the building.• Keep away from windows and other breakable items.• Get away from open areas and find shelter in interior hallways, reinforced rooms, orpartitioned spaces. Get as many walls as possible between you and the storm.• If you are outdoors in a car, stop and find shelter inside a building, or hide in a ditch orravine. Lie facedown and cover your head. Don’t stand! Don’t try to outrun the tornado.• Don’t leave your shelter until you hear that the tornado has ended.
Words Cited• MHCS Marketing Team, Tornadoes: How to avoid Fremont emergency room visits, “MemorialHospital, 10-24-12, http://blog.memorialhcs.org/Memorial-Hospital-Blog/bid/41230/Tornadoes-How-to-avoid-Fremont-emergency-room-visits• Where is Tornado Alley, “Tornado Chaser”, 10-24-12, http://www.tornadochaser.net/tornado.html• “The Deadliest U.S. Tornadoes”, 10-25-12, http://www.epicdisasters.com/index.php/site/comments/the_deadliest_us_tornadoes/• Xara, “Beautiful Tornadoes Pictures”, 10-26-12, http://www.xarj.net/2012/beautiful-tornados-pictures/• Wikipedia, “Tornadoes of 2011”, 10-28-12, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornadoes_of_2011#Events• Wikipedia, “Tornadoes of 2010”, 10-28-12, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornadoes_of_2010• Wikipedia, “Tornadoes of 2009, 10-28-12, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornadoes_of_2009• Wikipedia, “Tornadoes of 2008, 10-28-12, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornadoes_of_2008• Wikipedia, “Tornadoes of 2007, 10-28-12, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornadoes_of_2007• The Weather Channel, “Tracking and Researching Tornadoes”, 10-28-12, http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/severe-weather/articles/tornado-agencies-track-research_2010-03-30