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Tornadoes have always fascinated and terrified; they're one of mother nature's most incredible phenomena—and incredibly destructive occurrences to boot. If you ever How does a tornado form diagram how they formed, we've got you covered. The width of a tornado can range from a couple of feet to several hundred feet across and they can last between a few seconds to a half hour although the tend to last an average of ten minutes or less.

Tornadoes are usually born from thunderstorms. High intensity tornadoes form from supercell thunderstorms, a storm that has a " deep rotating mesocyclone. A regular thunderstorm will hit before a supercell and for this to occur, a specific set of 'ingredients' need to come together. The beginning of a thunderstorm looks like this: 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 How does a tornado form diagram 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. When winds increase in speed and strength and create an updraft, a regular storm becomes a supercell.

While the supercell churns in the sky, the chances of it becoming How does a tornado form diagram tornado are slim—only 30 percent of these storms produce a tornado per National Geographic.

There are some things we still don't understand about tornadoes. For one, scientists still aren't completely sure why only some storms birth tornadoes. Second, we're still unsure on specific details about how they die. If you're homethe first thing you should do is get away from windows and move to the lowest level floor. Find a sturdy piece of furniture to sit under, ideally as close to the center of the room as possible, and cover your head with your arms.

If you live in a mobile home, seek refuge somewhere else immediately. If you're outside during a tornado, try to get inside a home or building not a mobile home. If you can't get inside, get into a low area or place yourself against the building in a low position and be on the alert for flood waters.

If you're at school or work or in any kind of public building, stay away from windows and open areas such as auditoriums and hallways. Find a sturdy table or piece of How does a tornado form diagram to get beneath and protect your head. Instead, get out of the car and try to find shelter inside a building.

If there are no buildings nearby, try to find a low area where you can wait out the tornado. It also helps to have a predesignated meeting place where you can find friends and family after the storm has passed. You can also look to Red Cross for more tips on tornado safety and preparedness. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. How Do Birds Fly? Phone Need a Jump? Turn to How does a tornado form diagram Battery Packs.

Tornado vs. Twister "Tornado" and "twister" are used interchangeably because How does a tornado form diagram really the same thing: a rotating column of air that spins at high speeds. How Tornadoes Form Tornadoes are usually born from thunderstorms.

A tornado forms in the distance in Killdeer, North Dakota. More Tornado Facts. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. More From Earth. Why Do Volcanoes Erupt? Are We Reaching Peak Phosphorus?

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