Last Modified: 2011-07-10
-Associated with storms that develop in association with mid latitude cyclones or tropical cyclones.
-Appears dark because of moisture, debris, and dust inside.
-Wind speeds exceed speeds known in any other storm, ranging from 40 mph- 300 mph
- General tornado is about 110 mph
-Large pressure gradient force, resulting in intense wind speeds as the air rushes into the low-pressure center of the
-99% of tornadoes in the Southern Hemisphere rotate clockwise.
-Severe thunderstorms provide a key ingredient for tornadoes- strong vertical circulation.
-The other key ingredient is the presence of wind shear.
-Start out broad and as vertical convection extends the top of the mesocyclone into the atmosphere it stretches and narrows.
-20% of the time, a tornado forms.
-Has been recently replaced with the Enhanced Fujita scale (EH- scale).
-Ranks tornadoes 0-5, weakest to strongest.
-EF scale incorporates 28 types of structures, with up to 12 different degree of damage ratings.
-5% of tornadoes reach category EF4 or EF5.
-An average of 75 people die each year in the US from tornadoes, more than in any other natural phenomena (except floods and lightning).
-the warm Gulf of Mexico and cold Arctic air
-flat land in the eastern 2/3 of the country
-lack of east to west mountains
-Majority occur in 'tornado alley' (Texas to Nebraska)
-Ohio and Florida are other tornado hot spots.
-Texas has the highest number of tornadoes (over 100 annually), but ranks 9th in its number of tornadoes per square mile.
-OK has a large amount of moderate to violent tornadoes, F2 or higher, making it also the leader in strong tornadoes.
-FL has the 2nd highest tornado density.
-Spring is when the air mass contrasts are especially strong.
-May has the greatest number of tornadoes with June in second.
-Peak tornado season is not uniform throughout the US.
-Moving north and slightly west, most of tornado alley's tornadoes are in May.
-Far north, from NE- WI, the peak is usually in June.
-Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 and 8 PM.
-Can most likely be attributed to an increase in the reporting of tornadoes with the advancement of radar and Doppler and an increase in storm chasers.
-Flying debris is the main cause of injury and death.
-The most violent tornadoes have several small zones of intense rotations called multiple vortex tornadoes.
EF1 (Weak) 86-110 mph> weak 69%
EF2 (Strong) 111-135 mph>moderate 29%
EF3 (Severe) 136-165 mph>moderate 29%
EF4 (Devastating) 166-200 mph>violent 2%
EF5 (Incredible) 200+ mph>violent 2%
-1950-1994, there was an average of 91 people killed in an average of 760 tornadoes.
-40% of fatalities occur in mobile homes, 31% in permanent homes
-Do not open windows.
-Go into a ditch if driving.
-Travelled from eastern Missouri through Illinois and into Indiana
-Killed 700 total, 600 in Illinois
-Leveled several towns
-Single largest killer in history
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