What is Tornado?

What is Tornado?

The weather has many sides sometimes cool, sometimes hot, sometimes pleasant, and sometimes extreme creating thunderstorms, cyclones, floods, etc. And one of the most extreme, brutal and potent forms of weather is a type of a storm we call Tornadoes.

A Tornado which is also known as “twisters” are rapidly rotating columns of air that reach from a storm clouds to the Earth’s surface. And when Tornadoes are formed they are a brutal force to reckon with that can tear apart everything that comes on its way causing massive destruction to the surroundings.
It’s because of this very nature of Tornadoes that scientists have shown a keen interest in it but the formation of a Tornado is so complex that scientists still don’t completely understand it as conditions that give rise to one Tornado does not necessarily be responsible for forming another one.

But what we know so far is that a Tornado is formed under a powerful and big thunderstorm called supercell. When cold dry air moving from one direction meets warm moist air coming from another direction it creates instability in the atmosphere.

And as the cold air is dense or heavier, it slides down under the warm air and pushes it upwards very fast. The faster-moving air begins to spin and roll over the slower wind creating an invisible, horizontal spinning effect like a cylinder in the lower atmosphere. As the winds continue to build up, stronger and more powerful warm air forces the spinning winds vertically upwards, causing an updraft. And with an increase in momentum and speed, the spinning winds create a vortex.

Now the wind has enough energy to fuel itself and eventually keep going to form a Tornado. And when the pointed part of the Tornado touches the Earth’s surface from the cloud, it is often referred to as a “touch down” and then it goes and does what it does best that is destroy everything along its path.

Did you know, the duration of Tornadoes and the distance they travel varies? Most of the Tornadoes last only less than 10 minutes and travel around 5 - 10 km before vanishing. But in some cases however they can last several hours and cross distances over 150 km! Also the deadliest Tornado ever recorded was in Bangladesh in 1989. As it sailed through the Dhaka region of the country more than 20 villages were destroyed and around 1300 people were killed.

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