Tornadoes are formed when hot air and cold air meet in a powerful storm, and the warm air begins spiralling upward, creating a funnel cloud. This funnel cloud forces objects on the ground and in the air around and upward, and can be strong enough to uproot trees, move cars and tear apart buildings. This extremely energetic air current is part of a special, very tall storm called a supercell.Know More
The supercells that make tornadoes form when a large mass of cold air moves over a large mass of warm air. This situation is highly unstable, because the warm air is lighter than the cold air. The greater the temperature difference, the more unstable the situation. Winds are generated as the warm air moves up and through the cold air and the cold air moves down and around the warm air. If the warm air contains a large amount of water vapor, it tends to condense into clouds as it moves up and cools.
When this movement of warm air upward is energetic enough, the moving air starts to twist on its way up, creating the potential for a funnel cloud. These funnel clouds are the effect of rapidly moving and spinning warm air and condensing water vapor going upward and spiraling.Learn more about Storms
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 >
According to The Weather Channel, a tornado is "a violently rotating column of air that stretches from a cloud to the Earth's surface." The source also states that tornadoes are "the most destructive of all storm-scale atmospheric phenomena." Often forming from a thunderstorm, tornadoes also result from hurricanes.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 >
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 >