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Spinning column of air Associated with strong updraught and
 

Summary: 5
Tornado
Spinning column of air
Associated with strong updraught and
turbulence in the atmosphere (e.g.
thunderstorms)
Can last up to an hour or more
Winds up to 200 miles per hour
689 people died from 18 March 1925
tornadoes
A tornado is a rapidly spinning column of air which forms
within a parent cumulonimbus cloud. An average width of
their destructive path is 50m although can reach 2km
wide. They can last from seconds to over an hour, often
covering over a few km. The most extreme winds are
thought to be over 400 km/hour although this is difficult to
measure. More than 50 tornados hit central Oklahoma on
3 May 1999 and 40 people died. Death tolls are lower
today than decades ago since forecasting and warnings are
far better these days.

  

Source: Allan, Richard P. - Department of Meteorology, University of Reading

 

Collections: Geosciences