Many of tornadoes form from thunderstorms. In oreder for a tornado to form you need warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and cold air from Canada. When those two air masses meet they create instability in the atmosphere. A change of wind direction and an increase in wind, along with increasing height creates an invisible horizontal spinning effect in the lower atmosphere. Tornadoes usually form at a average temperature of 80*F. Most tornadoes (not all of them) usually spin counterclockwise.

How Fast is a Tornado?

Tornadoes are categorized into six sections. F-0 (40-72 mph), F-1 (73-112 mph), F-2 (113-157 mph), F-3 (158-205 mph), F-4 (207-260 mph), F-5 (261-318 mph). The higher the number after letter "F" the faster the wind speed/the more dangerous the tornado is. The fastest tornado was recorded at 318 mph in the Oklahoma and  on May 3, 1999.

How to you prepare for a tornado?

To prepare for a tornado the first thing you should do find a safe room in your house for your family to hide in with no windows. Second, move all garbage cans and furniture that can be picked up by the tornado. Finally, listen to the radio in the safe room your in to a weather station until it's safe to come out.

Oklahoma and Kansas May 3, 1999

On May 3, 1999 a total a 74 tornadoes appeared in under 21 hours. At one time, in these 21 hours, four tornadoes were all on the ground at the same time. This day is when the fastest tornado occurred. A F-5(explained earlier) was recorded at 318 mph. These tornadoes damage coasted nearly $1.5 billion, 46 people killed, 800 were injured, as well as over 8,000 homes destroyed. 

The Great Wall of Kansas?

A scientist has a theory that central U.S. (Tornado Alley) can be protected from tornadoes with several  giant walls. A scientist from Temple University thinks if we put up three walls across America it could prevent more major tornadoes forever. One wall could be placed in North Dakota, another on the eastern border of Kansas and Oklahoma, and the last one in the southern part of Texas and Louisiana. Unfortunately, the walls would have to be about 1,000 feet tall and 150 feet wide.


Air Masses                      A body of air a consistent horizontally temperature, humidity, and pressure.

Instability                         Having an unpredictable behavior or a sudden change of mode.

Horizontally/Horizontal                     Sideways.

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