This week in my Oklahoma town we had a tornado warning the other night. We’ve been in this state for over seven years and have yet to see one. I never saw one when I lived in Georgia either, even though we’d go outside when the tornado siren went off!
Tornadoes happen frequently in the south during this time of year. Check out a tornado compilation here:
The US has the most tornadoes than any other country each year.
How are tornadoes formed? From Popular Mechanics:
“Tornadoes are usually born from thunderstorms. High intensity tornadoes form from supercell thunderstorms, a storm that has a “deep rotating mesocyclone.” Supercell thunderstorms are usually when you’ll hear a tornado warning. A regular thunderstorm will hit before a supercell and for this to occur, a specific set of ‘ingredients’ need to come together.
Humid air, which rises, collides with cold air in the atmosphere above it. This creates wind shears, rolling columns of wind that spin above the space where the hot and cold air meet. The warmer air creates an updraft that takes one of the horizontal wind shears and moves it into a vertical position.
The peak of the updraft has two spinning columns on either side of it—the larger of the two columns overtakes the smaller one and becomes the thunderstorm. From here, the storm is able to expand due to the warm air being sucked into the spinning column.”
Read the whole Popular Mechanics article here.
Read more tornado formation/characteristics here or watch below:
Have you ever seen a tornado?