Q:

What is the difference between a hurricane and a tornado?

A:

The main difference between a hurricane and a tornado is that hurricanes form over warm water while tornados form over land. As of 2014, the largest tornado ever recorded was 2.5 miles wide, while hurricanes can measure over 1,000 miles wide.

Another difference between a tornado and a hurricane is that a hurricane can last up to three weeks long, while the most severe tornadoes usually last no more than an hour. The winds in a hurricane can reach speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, and tornado winds can exceed wind speeds of over 300 miles per hour.

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    Are lightning and thunder the same thing?

    A:

    Thunder and lightning are not the same phenomenon, though both are caused by the same event. As a cloud equalizes its electric charge with the ground, the current must pass through a column of air. Air is not a perfect conductor of electricity, so some of the energy is lost to heat as the charge travels downward. An observer experiences this visually as lightning and audibly as thunder.

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    How do tornadoes form?

    A:

    Although science is very advanced, there is not enough data to fully understand all the reasons behind tornado formation, but they are believed to occur when rotating thunderstorms form mesocyclones. Once the mesocyclone forms, temperature differentials cause air to wrap around it.

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    What are some after-effects of tornadoes?

    A:

    Some after-effects of tornadoes are fatalities and injuries to people and animals, damaged or destroyed buildings, water supply contamination and loss of services. Ongoing effects include displacement, illness and disruption of everyday life.

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    What was the most dangerous tornado ever recorded?

    A:

    The Tri-State Tornado is the deadliest twister on record, with 695 deaths attributed to it. The tornado passed through Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Approximately 13,000 people were injured in the twister, which caused $17 million in property damage.

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