Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Three Dangerous Tornado Myths: Debunked

No place in the United States (or even the world - except maybe Antarctica) is completely safe from tornadoes. Every one of the United States has experienced at least one documented tornado, and many states are hit multiple times each year by a twister. A tornado may occur at any time of day, and on any day of the year. It may hit in the middle of the night, or in the middle of winter. However, the most common timing for a tornado is in the late afternoon of warmer months.

Unfortunately, for most communities outside of Tornado Alley (in the central and Midwest US), a tornado is such a remote possibility, that cities or towns may not have warning systems in place, and few people are prepared when a tornado does strike. However, knowing what to do in case of a tornado warning can save your life and the lives of your family.

Although tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, they are found most frequently in the United States.
Union City, Oklahoma tornado.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
Tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year..

The strongest tornadoes have rotating winds of more than 250 mph.

Tornadoes can be one mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles.

Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel. The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.

The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.
Waterspouts are tornadoes which form over warm water. They can move onshore and cause damage to coastal areas.

Contacts and sources:
Inside Science TV (ISTV)

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