What causes a tornado?


According to the Weather Channel, tornadoes can occur when powerful thunderstorms move through areas of atmospheric instability and excess low-level moisture. Under these conditions, a cold front or wind shear zone can create the rotating and rising air currents necessary to create a mesocyclone, the precursor to a tornado. Not all such storms spawn tornadoes, but any time thunderstorms occur under dangerous conditions, meteorologists take note.

The precursor to any tornado is the mesocyclone, an area of rotation that forms high in a thunderstorm cell. So-called "supercell" storms are more prone to develop into tornadoes, but even relatively weak storms can create funnel clouds if the conditions are suitable. Tornadoes commonly occur when a cold front overlaps a warm front, preventing warm air from rising directly up into the atmosphere and creating rotating air currents. This draws in air from the surrounding area, and the moisture in this air condenses into a heavy cloud layer called a wall cloud. Inside the cloud, the rotation intensifies, extending high into the atmosphere and creating a funnel-shaped vortex. Eventually, the vortex may twist and work its way back down to ground level, wrapping itself in the wall cloud and creating the distinctive silhouette of a tornado.

Q&A Related to "What causes a tornado?"
Tornado Alley is the result of a number of factors. Warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico often flows northward over the region where it meets cooler air from Canada an drier air
A dust devil is a whirlwind into which dust and debris gets caught up, making it visible.
Environment Canada describes tornadoes as a vortex of violently circulating winds that extends from the base of a cloud to the Earth's surface. The strongest tornadoes often develop
they can cause EF0 minor to no damage EF1 moderate damage EF2 considerable damage EF3 severe damage EF4 devastating damage EF5 incredible damage
1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: what causes tornado
Clouds form when water vapor condenses in the air. This releases heat, which increases the updraft temperature and the kinetic energy of air movement. In supercell thunderstorms, updrafts are strong and may create a vortex of air that may form a tornado.
Most scientists consider this to be a simplified and incomplete explanation. The finer details of tornado formation and dissipation are still unknown.
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