Severe Weather Extra: Tornado formation

Weather Specials

Tornadoes have occurred in every state in the country

(WYTV) – Tornadoes. Kids are fascinated with them, but how do they develop?

We”re still learning, but we have an idea of the dynamics involved.

It has to do with wind shear, which is a change in direction as you go higher into the atmosphere.

This change in wind direction causes a horizontal column of air to spin. Think of a log role competition, where two people are spinning the log in water to try and make the other person fall off.

As strong updrafts occur, it causes the horizontal column to be tilted up into the vertical. This is when we start to see a funnel cloud.

It’s not officially a tornado until it touches the surface.

Tornadoes are the color of clouds at first, but debris starts to turn the tornado a dusty brown or even black color.

Narrow tornadoes are known as rope tornadoes. Wide tornadoes are called wedge tornadoes.

Tornadoes have occurred in every state in the country, even Alaska.

Tornadoes are more common in the plain states. That’s why Dorothy was from Kansas and not New York City.

They have the deadliest tornadoes in the world. It’s because the ground is flat, and there is a moist source, Gulf of Mexico, that interacts with cool and dry air coming down the slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

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