What is a tornado and what causes it?

A tornado is a violent storm, much smaller than a hurricane, but still stronger than hurricanes.
The air in a tornado is caused by winds in the upper part of a cloud that rotate until a vortex is created.
If the winds accelerate the cloud gets into the shape of a funnel.
At the bottom of the cloud, more air is pulled out and the funnel reaches the ground.
Most tornadoes reach speeds of 50 to 450 km per hour (certainly faster as my website even though I can change this If I wanted to) and the damage they cause is about the width of one kilometer and a length of 100 km.
The funnel of a small tornado is sometimes only 3 meters wide (or even smaller, like with tornado generators), and that of a large tornado can get to around 300 meters wide.

What causes a tornado?
A tornado usually starts above the sea. Colder air will usually appear close together. The warm air then flows under the cold air. The cold air will hit the warm air and this causes rain.
Sometimes the hot air is trapped for a while in the cold air. Then the warm air comes through it anyway, and it rises rapidly, because hot air rises.
The hot air is a kind of pipe; as the other air collides against it and goes around and around. This creates a tornado! In the middle of a tornado is the wind. This is called the eye. On the pictures there is often a yellow color which comes through the shadows. The eye is the center of a tornado.

The difference between hurricanes and tornadoes
As is known, both a tornado and a hurricane are similar, but the exact difference is still not clear. However, there are major differences between these types of hurricanes. The biggest difference is the different dimensions between the cyclones. For example, a hurricane is hundreds of kilometers wide, while a tornado never gets much bigger than 800 meters in diameter.

Another important difference is that hurricanes occur over oceans that are at least 27 degrees in temperature, while tornadoes usually occur over land where two air streams collide. It may prevent hurricanes from being associated with tornadoes. Hurricanes can also last much longer than tornadoes and a hurricane can last up to a week, while a tornado usually only lasts about fifteen minutes. Because a hurricane occurs on the water, every hurricane that comes close to the land can cause a tidal wave that is more deadly than the hurricane itself. The consequences are much worse when a hurricane reaches land. Because hurricanes are often much larger and last longer than a tornado, so they cause much more damage.

What should you do when you see a tornado?
Find shelter in something good and deep underground like a storm cellar or a cave. Make sure you do not come very close to any windows. Stop doing and thinking about unimportant stuff, like using beauty products or stuff like that.
Protect your head by putting your hand between your neck and your head.
Close all doors and windows on the side of the tornado and open them on the other side. This prevents the wind coming through and tearing the roof off. And it ensures equal pressure inside and outside, so that the house does not explode.
Do NOT stay in a car or caravan, because they can be thrown up into the air during the storm. You should also not leave your house as there may be loose items flying around in the tornado and you could also be sucked into it.
You can see how strong a tornado is. If it is thin, it is faster and stronger. If it is wide, then it is probably slower.

The Fujita scale.
The Fujita scale determines how strong a tornado is. The scale runs from F0 to F5. F0 is the least strong and F5 is the strongest.
In F1 tornado can drag a shed and some chickens along, then an F5 tornado drags much more with it, such as houses and larger items.
The scale was devised by Theodore Fujita.

Category: Tornadoes

What is a Hurricane and why do they occur?

Everyone knows what a hurricane is and how it looks. Some people have even experienced one. But how it is created is a mystery to many. I will explain in this article how hurricanes are created.

What is a hurricane?
Tropical storms with wind speeds over 119 km per hour are called a hurricane or a tropical cyclone.

What causes a hurricane?
If water gets hot, water vapor is created. Just look at a kettle, it also produces steam as it cooks. In tropical and subtropical regions it is hot. If they are close to large bodies of water such as a sea or ocean, there is also a vapor created when it gets hot. This causes a cumulonimbus cloud. This is a cloud that is very white in color and has a round shape. If there is a little wind, it causes the cloud to rotate. The cloud rotates easily because it is round. If there is a lot of wind, the cloud rotates very quickly. It squeezes through the air for several layers down and gets an oblong shape. Hurricanes do not always touch the ground, the trunk can easily end a few feet above the ground. It may be that the hurricane hits the ground later, but that does not necessarily happen. Want more information about this subject? Visit our Hurricane Uni group this spring break (sbreak has all the dates) and become part of science history.

Distribution of the earth:
The earth is divided into 2 pieces. The northern and the southern hemisphere. One is located above the equator, and the other below the equator. The equator is an imaginary line down the center of the earth. Hurricanes seem to know what the difference is between those two parts, because in the northern hemisphere hurricanes rotate counterclockwise, and in the southern hemisphere they rotate clockwise.

The danger of a hurricane:
Hurricanes can have a devastating effect. For Class the damage hurricanes cause is generally light damage to buildings, cars and nature. A Class 2 hurricane can cause significant damage to trees and crops and greater damage to buildings. A category 3 hurricane can cause major damage to buildings, cars, street installations, trees and crops. In a class 4 hurricanes there is usually major damage to buildings, houses, nature and street installations. Complete roofs could be blown away, trees can be pulled out of the ground and buildings can (partly) be destroyed. A class-5 hurricane creates enormous damage to anything in the path of the hurricane, which can cause irreparable damage.

A hurricane in the water:
The wind is not the only danger of a hurricane. Water is often an even greater risk. This can be done in two ways. A hurricane sometimes creates huge amounts of precipitation. The abundant precipitation is due to the amount of water passing through the tropical system as it comes from the sea and is pulled up to later over land to fall again in the form of heavy rain.
The amounts of precipitation can even cover an area of more than a thousand kilometers from the nucleus up to hundreds of millimeters within a day. Much damage from hurricanes is therefore the result of floods caused by the heavy rainwater that normal roads cannot escape. Even more destructive are the mudslides and / or landslides resulting from the abundance of rain.
Another risk that a hurricane brings is the storm surge that can ravage coastal areas. Depending on the strength of the hurricane, the storm surge can rise several meters above the normal levels. In a class 4 or 5 hurricane the storm surge on average can be at least 4-5 feet above normal. The consequences for buildings directly along the coast can then be catastrophic.

Decrease of the force:
If a hurricane reaches land, it often quickly slows down. Within hours, a class 1 or 2 hurricane strength will appear and it will continue to decrease until a tropical storm remains. That’s because the breeding ground for the hurricane is warm waters of at least 26 degrees Celsius, which the land lacks. Another way for a hurricane force to diminish or even disappear is when the system comes upon cooler seawater, which is usually caused when the hurricane moves away from the equator to cooler areas.
As long as the computer is within the tropical zone moves (between latitude 5 and 20), the force will increase again once the depression or hurricane leaves the land and goes back over the warm sea water.

Risk areas:
The greatest risk of hurricanes is in the Caribbean, the south west coast of the United States, large parts of Central America, Mexico, Australia, large parts of Southeast Asia (including the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, China and India) , Southeast Africa (including Madagascar) and Australia. As a rule, coastal areas and islands face a greater risk of a hurricane strength’s rather than the areas that are more inland. These are also areas prone to floods and storm surge due to the extreme wind.

Category: Hurricanes

What is wind? And what is its origin?

What is wind?
Yesterday I came back from an investing in gold course and had to walk from the building to my car, which was about 2 miles. The problem was the unbelievably strong wind which forced me to take a taxi to my car (!). Wind can be both beautiful (for us wind freaks :-) ) and problematic. Here is an explanation of what wind really is and where it comes from. Wind is the collective name for air movement in the atmosphere. Wind is the result of the tendency of nature to return to an equilibrium situation, in this case, in terms of air pressure. Wind tries to lift the pressure differences between areas of low and high pressure. Wind is actually nothing more than a stream of air.

With wind it so happens that on an atmospheric scale, there is numerous analogies that can be found on a more tangible scale. The most obvious one is likely to be a balloon. The air pressure in the balloon is higher than outside the balloon, because it took effort to inflate the balloon.

Once the balloon is punctured and has a leak, there is a new equilibrium: the balloon deflates, and both the inside and outside the balloon then have the same pressure. There is air from the balloon going to the outside, in other words, wind comes from the balloon to the outside.  This is exactly what is happening when you hear that flute tone with a flat tire: actually that’s just wind. And the sound you hear when you whistle or play a wind instrument is caused by wind: air squeezes itself (because you work hard and blow) through a small hole through which the sound then comes out.

How is wind made in nature?
Wind on atmospheric scale is more complex. To explain how wind occurs, it is necessary to first look at how high and low pressure areas arise. This can happen in many different ways, and the precise mechanism is often very complicated. In this article, the most appealing and the most common examples are discussed.

A Hadleycel is a very large scale atmospheric circulation. They are found in the location of most deserts, which is the reason that it often rains in the tropics and it also explains how Passaat arises. In short, the mechanism is as follows. The sun has the most power around the area of the equator. The air is therefore the warmest there. As air warms it expands and increases the density of the air. This creates a region with lower air pressure around the equator.

Only around the thirtieth parallel is the air cooled enough to be able to fall. This creates a high pressure around the thirtieth parallel area. Air then flows back to ground level back to the equator. That wind is called the Passat. Since areas of high pressure often associated with good and dry weather and low pressure areas with rain and bad weather, Hadley cells are what cause the wet tropics and the location of many deserts.

Tropical Storm
A tropical storm, hurricane, cyclone or typhoon is an area with extremely low air pressure. The lowest pressure ever measured was a tropical storm. They arise from an area with thunderstorms. If the sea water in the region is warm enough (usually more than 25 ° Celsius) and a number of other conditions are met, this creates an area of lower pressure. That in turn has a magnetic effect on the warmer, moist air from the environment. The core deepens, and if the sea is warm enough, the process can continue until a very powerful tropical storm arises.
By that time, the low pressure area (the eye) is so powerful that even the wind that accompanies it is extreme: sometimes more than 300 kilometers per hour.

Why doesn’t wind blow in all places as often and as hard?
Wind speed depends on a number of factors. To begin with, there is the difference in air pressure. The greater the pressure difference, the higher the wind speed. Compare this again to the balloon: a fully inflated balloon has more pressure than a half filled balloon. This difference is shows on weather maps by the distance between the isobars (lines with the same pressure). The closer they sit together, the harder the wind blows.
In addition, the shape of the surface of the earth makes a big difference. Flat areas don’t affect the wind very much, but over land it is inhibited by, for example, wooded area is due to the friction it causes against the wind.
Areas of low pressure however do not occur on a massive scale. On sunny days in summer e.g. at the end of the day it causes breezes, making it get suddenly cool at the beach. Over land travel warms the air while the air over the sea remains practically the same. (Compare the temperature of the sand and the sea next morning and at the end of the afternoon and you will see what we mean.) Like the Hadleycel, the warm air rises above land. The air then flows over the sea towards land and creates wind. Because the air above the sea was still cool, is also accompanied by a temperature drop when it gets to the sea, therefore it is often very unpleasant.

Category: Wind