Fire tornadoes form when combustible gases ignite in windy conditions. According to the Mother Nature Network, most fire tornadoes spawn from wildfires. The center of a fire tornado is a column of flaming gas up to 9 feet in diameter. A whirling column of fresh air circulates around the fiery core, feeding it fresh oxygen and sustaining the blaze.Know More
About.com expert Rachelle Oblack explains that fire tornadoes are most likely to form when ambient wind speeds are mild. Once the tornado forms, however, its winds gain speed. Although most fire tornadoes are smaller than tornadoes, they are dangerous and capable of inflicting fire and wind damage. According to Fox6Now.com, fire tornado winds often equal those of mid-size tornadoes and are sufficiently powerful to knock down small trees, destroy power lines and damage buildings. Items touched by the flame column frequently burst into flames and become secondary sources of fire damage.
Fire tornadoes fall into one of three categories. Type One fire tornadoes have an obvious fire source and do not depart from it. Type Two fire tornadoes are slightly mobile and travel downwind from their source. Some do not move at all and appear directly downwind of their source, which is usually a wildfire. Fire tornadoes classified as Type Three have powerful winds, are highly mobile and travel through open areas. These are the most dangerous fire tornadoes because of their speed and ability to spread fire throughout grasslands, wooded areas and housing developments.Learn more in Storms
A tornado path, or the width of the tornado on the ground, can range from as small as 10 yards to in excess of a mile. Widths can vary greatly even over the life of a single tornado, as each individual twister often undergoes rapid changes.Full Answer >
Strong winds, hail and flying debris make being inside a tornado dangerous, but those who survive the experience claim it to be surprisingly calm and quiet. Near-constant lightning reportedly gives the interior of tornadoes a glow.Full Answer >
Tornadoes have wind gusts of 65 miles per hour to over 200 miles per hour. Tornadoes are classified by strength and estimated wind speed, according to the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which assigns a rating of between EF0 and EF5.Full Answer >
An isolated tornado is a term used by meteorologists to warn the public that an occasional tornado is possible with approaching storms. When this term is used, forecasters do not expect a widespread outbreak of tornadoes to occur. A tornado watch may or not be issued when isolated tornadoes are mentioned.Full Answer >