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The Formation of a Tornado

Since many people have never seen a tornado, especially a powerful one, I thought I’d share this clip. This was shot by a crew of storm chasers working for a TV station and it was filmed in May of this year, in Kansas.

Of special interest, notice how the funnel of the tornado was causing a lot of damage before the bottom of the funnel even touched the ground. This is an example of how observable winds can cause effects that are quite a ways away from the observable and measurable wind.

This was a strong tornado, but it wasn’t an especially ‘big’ one. Initially looking at it, it doesn’t seem all that powerful, either, but what happens next shows that it was a lot stronger than it first appeared.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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    • Yes. They identify the supercells and quite often (thankfully) the supercells don’t actually produce a funnel, but they do notice the rotation of the clouds. That gives storm chasers a heads-up in regard to where to go (I wouldn’t want that job, incidentally) and it allows the weather service to issue alerts in advance of most tornados. Every so often, a tornado still forms that surprises the weather service because it happens where it wasn’t expected.

      They are getting better at identifying the cells, though. No doubt, that is saving a lot of lives.

      • I am one of those people that likes to know what is going on around me.
        I have a seismograph in my basement.
        I have a weather station on my back deck.

        That way I never have to wonder. I just go check! Plus as an avid boater, knowing when and where weather is, kinda important.

        You can be on the bay, clear as a bell and suddenly, a storm whips up, the window explodes and you are in heavy water!

        • I don’t blame you in the slightest. You are in an area prone to sudden violent storms. Most of the gear wouldn’t do me a lot of good, though. Although Montana holds records for rapid weather changes, those aren’t usually having to do with storms, With us, it is most often temperature fluctuations and all I need to do is look at the jet stream to know when those are likely to happen.

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