We are officially in the month of April (we can’t believe it either) which means the conditions are just right for tornadic activity, most often over the great plains. For some of us, this is nothin’ because we do it every year, but for others, tornadoes are pretty fascinating and equally terrifying, so let’s take a look at some crazy tornado facts!
(image via: peta pixel)
Tornadoes occur when a warm front meets a cool front, and when this happens a thunderstorm can create one or more twisters.
Damage paths of tornadoes can be as wide as a mile and as long as fifty miles, and when you stop to think about just how much ground that means a massive, whirling cloud can cover, it really puts into perspective just how detrimental tornadoes have the potential to be.
Tornadoes can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, though the average is roughly five minutes. But when you consider just how fast the winds are (up to 300 mph) and how much ground they can cover, a lot can happen in just five minutes.
If you live in an area that sees tropical storms and hurricanes, you aren’t in the clear, tornadoes can actually accompany these storms, so basic knowledge of tornadoes and tornado preparedness is something everyone can benefit from.
Antarctica is the only continent that doesn’t have a record of a tornado in the history of ever. The reason is pretty simple, tornadoes require a moist, warm climate to form, and this is pretty hard to achieve in Antarctica, though not impossible.
(image via: nature ttl)
There are a number of warning signs to look for during tornado season, but the main predictor is a rotating thunderstorm. These storms often include hail, severe winds, lightning, and flash flooding; they are also well-defined on the radar.
Oftentimes tornadoes appear transparent until dust and debris start getting picked up and clouds form a funnel.
Speaking of funnels, tornadoes come in all different shapes and sizes; some are wide funnel-shaped clouds, while others are swirling ropes that stretch from the ground to the sky.
Tornadoes can occur at any time during the day, but historically speaking, tornadoes are more than likely to occur between 3 PM and 9 PM.
Tornadoes can even occur over a body of water and they have a special name; these are known as waterspouts.
There is still a lot that scientists don’t know about tornadoes, and the reason is simple: tornadoes are unpredictable and super dangerous to study.