Difference between revisions of "Tornado"

From Glossary of Meteorology
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<div class="definition"><div class="short_definition">A rotating column of air, in contact with the surface, pendant from a [[cumuliform]] cloud, and often visible as a [[funnel cloud]] and/or circulating debris/dust at the ground.
 
<div class="definition"><div class="short_definition">A rotating column of air, in contact with the surface, pendant from a [[cumuliform]] cloud, and often visible as a [[funnel cloud]] and/or circulating debris/dust at the ground.
On a local [[scale]], the tornado is the most intense of all atmospheric [[circulation]]s. Its vortex usually rotates [[cyclonically]] (on rare occasions [[anticyclonically]] rotating tornadoes have been observed) with [[wind speed]]s as low as 30 m s-1 (67 mph) to as high as 135 m s-1 (300 mph), and is generally < 2 km (1.25 mi) in diameter. Tornado [[intensity]] is often estimated on the basis of wind damage using the [[Enhanced Fujita Scale]]; however, this estimate can be refined using other measurements, especially in the absence of damage indicators. Some tornadoes may also contain secondary [[vortex|vortices]] (also referred to as [[suction vortices]], subvortices, multiple, and satellite vortices).Tornadoes have been observed on all continents except Antarctica but are most common in the United States, where the average number of reported tornadoes is roughly 1000 per year, with the majority of them on the central plains and in the southeastern states (see [[tornado alley|Tornado Alley]]). They can occur throughout the year at any time of day. In the central plains of the United States they are most frequent in spring during the late afternoon.
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On a local [[scale]], the tornado is the most intense of all atmospheric [[circulation]]s. Its vortex usually rotates [[cyclonically]] (on rare occasions [[anticyclonic rotation|anticyclonically]] rotating tornadoes have been observed) with [[wind speed]]s as low as 30 m s-1 (67 mph) to as high as 135 m s-1 (300 mph), and is generally < 2 km (1.25 mi) in diameter. Tornado [[intensity]] is often estimated on the basis of wind damage using the [[Enhanced Fujita Scale]]; however, this estimate can be refined using other measurements, especially in the absence of damage indicators. Some tornadoes may also contain secondary [[vortex|vortices]] (also referred to as [[suction vortices]], subvortices, multiple, and satellite vortices).Tornadoes have been observed on all continents except Antarctica but are most common in the United States, where the average number of reported tornadoes is roughly 1000 per year, with the majority of them on the central plains and in the southeastern states (see [[tornado alley|Tornado Alley]]). They can occur throughout the year at any time of day. In the central plains of the United States they are most frequent in spring during the late afternoon.
  
 
(See also [[fujita scale|Fujita Scale]].)</div><br/> </div>
 
(See also [[fujita scale|Fujita Scale]].)</div><br/> </div>

Revision as of 06:10, 8 October 2013



tornado

A rotating column of air, in contact with the surface, pendant from a cumuliform cloud, and often visible as a funnel cloud and/or circulating debris/dust at the ground.

On a local scale, the tornado is the most intense of all atmospheric circulations. Its vortex usually rotates cyclonically (on rare occasions anticyclonically rotating tornadoes have been observed) with wind speeds as low as 30 m s-1 (67 mph) to as high as 135 m s-1 (300 mph), and is generally < 2 km (1.25 mi) in diameter. Tornado intensity is often estimated on the basis of wind damage using the Enhanced Fujita Scale; however, this estimate can be refined using other measurements, especially in the absence of damage indicators. Some tornadoes may also contain secondary vortices (also referred to as suction vortices, subvortices, multiple, and satellite vortices).Tornadoes have been observed on all continents except Antarctica but are most common in the United States, where the average number of reported tornadoes is roughly 1000 per year, with the majority of them on the central plains and in the southeastern states (see Tornado Alley). They can occur throughout the year at any time of day. In the central plains of the United States they are most frequent in spring during the late afternoon.

(See also Fujita Scale.)

term edited 8Oct2013


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