According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, tornadoes form when warm air creates a rotating updraft in a powerful thunderstorm. When winds blow in sharply different directions or at different speeds in these storms, they can set up a rotation that feeds on itself, creating a condition called a mesocyclone. When this construct rotates and touches the ground, it becomes a tornado.Continue Reading
Tornadoes can form quickly and without warning, and their destructive nature makes them hard to study. Any time thunderstorms occur in conditions where temperatures at the ground are substantially warmer than those aloft, the storms can be strong enough to create one or more tornadoes.
It can be difficult to forecast a tornado, but Doppler radar systems are a valuable tool for determining where and when one is about to occur. Doppler systems can detect wind shear, or divergences in wind direction and speed. An area where the winds are blowing strongly in different directions creates a distinctive "hook echo" on the radar. This can quickly form the rotation necessary to suck warm, moist air up into the upper layers of the storm, creating the energy necessary to turn the rotation into a mesocyclone and then a tornado.Learn more about Storms
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.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 >
A tornado is a violently swirling column of air that forms at the base of a thunderstorm. When the tornado is visible, it's because the air gathered up water droplets, dust particles and debris. It is a destructive force of nature, with winds that can exceed 300 miles per hour, and it can damage areas as large as a mile wide and 50 miles long.Full Answer >
Frontal thunderstorm are storms that develop at the boundary or front of two different masses of air. This means frontal thunderstorms depend less on the season of the year compared to the thermal thunderstorms.Full Answer >