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  1. A tornado is as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 mph.
  2. Damage paths of tornadoes can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.
  3. Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes once on land. Its super important to be prepared for a tornado, so make sure you have a disaster plan for your pets too! Sign up for Save Our Pets.
  4. Rotating thunderstorms are the best predictors of tornado activity.They are well defined thunderstorms on radar that may include hail, severe winds, lightning, or flash floods.
  5. Tornadoes can occur when a warm front meets a cold front, forming a thunderstorm, which then can spawn 1 or more “twisters."

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  1. Most twisters or cyclones travel from southwest to northeast and can move in the opposite direction for short periods of time. A tornado can even backtrack if it is hit by winds from the eye of the thunderstorm.
  2. Funnel clouds usually last less than 10 minutes before dissipating, and many only last several seconds. On rare occasion, cyclones can last for over an hour.
  3. A tornado may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel.
  4. Twisters strike predominantly along Tornado Alley — a flat stretch of land from western Texas to North Dakota. This region is a hotspot for tornadoes because the dry polar air from Canada meets the warm moist tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico.
  5. Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.
  6. In the southern states, peak tornado occurrence is March through May, while peak months in the northernmost states are late June through August.

Sources

  • 1

    Palm Beach County. "Tornado Facts." Accessed February 21, 2014, http://www.pbcgov.com/dem/sections/planning/business/tornado/facts.htm.

  • 2

    Missouri State. "Tornadoes." Missouri State Emergency Management Agency. Accessed February 21, 2014, http://sema.dps.mo.gov/plan_and_prepare/tornadoes.asp.

  • 3

    Ready.gov. "Tornadoes." Accessed February 21, 2014, http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes.

  • 4

    Edwards, SPC, Roger. "The Online Tornado FAQ." Storm Predication Center. Accessed February 21, 2014, http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/.

  • 5

    Boyle, Alan, and John Roach. "Curse or coincidence? Scientists study Tornado Alley's past and future." NBC News. Accessed February 21, 2014, http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/20/18382215-curse-or-coincidence-scientists-study-tornado-alleys-past-and-future?chromedomain=usnews.

  • 6

    Weather Underground, Inc. "About Tornadoes." Weather Forecast & Reports. Accessed February 21, 2014, http://www.wunderground.com/resources/education/tornadoFAQ.asp.

  • 7

    Edwards, SPC, Roger. "The Online Tornado FAQ." Storm Predication Center. Accessed February 21, 2014, http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/.

  • 8

    Ready.gov. "Tornadoes." Accessed February 21, 2014. http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes.

  • 9

    LiveScience. "12 Twisted Tornado Facts." LiveScience. Accessed February 20, 2014, http://www.livescience.com/3589-12-twisted-tornado-facts.html.

  • 10

    State of Louisiana . "What to do in a Tornado." Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness. Accessed February 21, 2014, http://gohsep.la.gov/factsheets/whattodoinatornado.htm.

  • 11

    Livingston, Ian. "Monthly tornado averages by state and region." United States Tornadoes. Accessed February 21, 2014, http://www.ustornadoes.com/2013/03/19/monthly-tornado-averages-by-state-and-region/.

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