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.