By: Jakob Morehead
Do you know what a tornado is? A tornado is a deadly spinning column of air extending from a supercell (a very powerful thunderstorm) to the ground. Well, if you didn’t I’ll tell you a little bit about how tornadoes form, how to survive a tornado, and about some major tornadoes from the past.
How Do Tornadoes Form?
Most tornadoes form from supercells. Fro most tornadoes you need warm, moist air and cool, dry air. When these two different temperatures meet they create instability in the atmosphere. The different wind direction, increasing wind speed, and increasing height creates an invisible, horizontal spinning effect in the lower atmosphere. Rising air within the updraft shifts the spinning air from horizontal to vertical.
How Do You Survive a Tornado?
To survive a tornado you need to have a plan before it happens. For example you need to make sure everyone knows where to go incase a tornado happens. Also make sure everyone knows what county they live in. And one more thing to do is prepare an emergency kit of food and water to last you about three days.
To survive a tornado while it’s happening you need to go to a basement. But if you don’t have a basement you need to go to the lowest floor of your house in a room with no glass or windows. If you live in a mobile home get out and get to a shelter. If you are in a car get out and go down in a ditch and lay down in it. And stay away from damaged areas.
To survive a tornado at school you should act like drills are really happening. And when it’s happening go to your safe area. Basements give best protection. But if your school does not have a basement get to the lowest floor away from glass or windows. You should also get down on your knees and put your arms over your head.
After a tornado you should stay in your house until it is safe. You should also search for people that need help. And search your house with a flashlight.
What are 3 of the Deadliest Tornadoes of the Past?
- The “Tri-State Tornado” of March 18, 1925 traveled more than 300 miles through Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. While injuring 2,027 and killing … 695 people. This tornado was rated an F5 the highest the old Fujita scale goes. And was also an EF5 (Enhanced, Operational Fujita Scale). Because it had more than 260 mph.
- The “Natchez Tornado” happened on May 6, 1840 and traveled along the Mississippi river in Louisiana and Mississippi. This tornado had wind speeds of more than 300 mph. While killing 317 and injuring 109 people. And because there was no Fujita scale back then this tornado is not in any of the categories. But it is believed that the wind speeds were high enough to make it an EF5 and F5. The death toll may not have included slaves.
- The “St. Louis Tornado” touched down on May 27, 1896. Had wind speeds between 207 and 260 mph. Which made it a F4 and EF5. This tornado killed 225 and injured 1000. While traveling in Missouri and Illinois.
- Tetsuya Theodore Fujita created the Fujita Scale in 1971 and updated it in 1973. But the Enhanced Fujita Scale was created in 2007.
- The Fujita scale is for tornadoes and hurricanes.
- The Fujita Scale is based on the the area and intensity of a tornado or hurricane.
- The damage of the Natchez Tornado was about $100 million today.
- About 1000 tornadoes touch down in the U.S.
- Tornadoes can happen any time of the year.
- No terrain is safe from tornadoes.
- Waterspouts are tornadoes that touchdown on a body of water.
- Landspouts are super weak tornadoes.
- A strong enough tornado can move a house down the block.
- Knives, forks, and straw have been found stuck in trees after tornadoes.
- 3 out of 4 tornadoes in the world happen in the U.S.
- Tornado winds are the strongest winds on earth.
- The thunderstorm most likely to give birth to a tornado is called a supercell.
- A motel in Oklahoma was destroyed completely and then the sign to the motel was found in Arkansas.
- Each year dozens of people die from tornadoes.
Thanks for reading! Now you know more about tornadoes and how to stay safe from tornadoes.