• made visible with the funnel cloud
  • on average:
    • they last for about 10 minutes
    • create a damage path about 4 miles long
  • some tornadoes touch down briefly
  • a few tornadoes have been observed to last for hours, creating a damage path 100's of km long
  • most of the time, their occurrence is isolated, but sometimes, tornado outbreaks occur
  • sometimes comprised of suction vortices
  • Tornado distribution -->>
  • how strong can tornadic winds get????


If you are confronted in an open field by a large tornado and there is no way that you could outrun it, probably the only thing that you could do would be to run and lie down in a depression. If given the choice, would you run toward your right or left as the tornado approaches? Explain your reasoning.

Tornadoes apparently form in a region of a strong updraft, yet they descend from the based of a cloud. Why?

figure from brooks et al. (2003)