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Tornado: Its Characteristics and Classification

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Tornado is a strongly, rotating wind, occurring below the bottom of the convective storm, which at least once touches the earth’s surface and is sufficiently strong enough to cause material damage. It is capable of carrying objects up to 5 tons in air. It has the form of a funnel, a choke that runs from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud. The wind speed in tornadoes ranges from 50 to 100 m/s or more, with its size in hundreds of meters in diameter. Tornadoes occur in storms almost all over the world, with the most famous area being the US Midwest and South. It is a so-called tornado alley, respectively.

A tornado belt stretches in Mississippi River Basin between the Rocky Mountains and the Apala Mountains – Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska in the United States, with the largest occurrence of tornadoes in the world. Most tornadoes occur there between April and June. Tornadoes arise as soon as the cold and steep winds cross with the warm ground wind. Their engagement causes horizontal rotation of the air. In the event that this collision of the winds occurs in a cumulonimbus, the flow from a warm storm cloud will lift the rotating air cylinder and raise it to the vertical position. The combination of vertical and rotating motion creates a very wide column of ambient air (the so-called mesocyclone).

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From the previously known causes, there is sometimes a whirlpool that becomes visible if the air is sufficiently damp to allow condensation. Then it stans down when it reaches the ground – creating a tornado in the true sense of the word.

Fujit Scale

The tornado power is given by the Fujit scale (Fujit-Pearson scale, F-scale) that divides the tornado into seven degrees – FO to F6. Seth grade F5 occurs only in 2, of all tornado incidents in the United States. Sep F6 is directly linked to the occurrence of strong tornadoes, so it does not arise independently and is a rather rare but dangerous phenomenon.

  • Ft-sped up to 33 m / s (117 km / h, 73 mph), light damage – fallen chimneys, broken tree branches, shallow spice trees, damage to signposts.
  • Fl – speeds of 33 to 50 m / s (117 to 180 km / h, 73 to 112 mph), slight damage – pulls roof cover, moves or rotates prefabricated houses and pushes cars off the roads.
  • F2 – speeds of SO to 70 m / s (180 to 252 km / h, 113 to 157 mph), considerable damage – pulls roofs, destroys prefabricated houses, overturns wagons, refracts and rakes up tall trees, forests light projectile. from light objects, cars from the country.
  • F3 – speeds of 70 to 92 m / s (252 to 332 km / h, 158 to 206 mph), serious damage – destroying roofs and walls of well-built houses, overturning trains, most trees in the woods being refuted, heavy cars being lifted from the ground and despised.
  • F4 – speeds of 92 to 117 m / s (332 to 418 km / h, 207 to 260 mph), devastating damage – compares the country with well-built houses, buildings with weak foundations taken away, cars are thrown away and heavy objects become floating projectiles.


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