What is a tornado?
A tornado is a type of storm that has the shape of an upside-down cone. It is made up of clouds and air that rotates from the center of the storm in the sky down to the ground.
A tornado is different from a tropical storm because it touches the ground. It sucks up objects as it moves along. However, unlike tropical storms, tornadoes usually last less than ten minutes. Tropical storms’ winds and rain, can last for several hours or even days.
Tornadoes can also happen all over the world, but they most often happen in the United States. They are especially common in the Midwest.
Many tornadoes form in supercells. A supercell is also called a mesocyclone, and it is a thunderstorm that rotates around itself. The deadliest tornadoes form in supercells.
The strongest tornadoes can demolish houses, flip cars, dig three-foot trenches, and lift certain objects up to 10,000 feet into the air. Scientists are trying to study tornadoes, but it is very difficult to get measuring equipment into a tornado since it is so dangerous. Even if the scientists could get their equipment close to or near a tornado, it would most likely destroy the equipment.
Although scientists will never be able to stop a tornado, perhaps someday they will be able to predict how likely one is to happen at a particular place and time. This would make people safer because they could prepare to take shelter in their basements or evacuate.
[Source: National Geographic]