A tornado is a column of air that rotates in a rapid motion. Tornados are sometimes referred to as whirlwinds or twisters and have a wind speed of around 30 miles per hour though in extreme cases a tornado can accelerate to up to 300 miles per hour. An ordinary tornado is 250 feet but can extend to 2 miles in diameter. Tornado season usually takes place between March and June. Tornados are most common in spring and least common in winter.
What Does a Tornado Look Like?
A tornado has the appearance of a narrow funnel. Tornadoes can come in different sizes and shapes. A tornado may appear as a swirl of dust or may be wedge-shaped, and may range in color based on the environment. The coloration depends on topography and soil color. During sunset, the tornado will display hues of orange, pink or yellow.
Types Of Tornadoes
A tornado can be either a multiple vortex, a landspout, or a waterspout. A multiple vortex tornado occurs when many columns of spinning air rotates on its own axis as well as around a common center. Waterspouts form over water and can extend to land in a funnel shape. Landspout tornados occur on the land and carry dust and any other debris from the surface.
When is Tornado Season?
Some areas of the world are more prone to tornados than others. Tornados are most common in the United States, particularly in a region of the Midwestern states known as "Tornado Valley". However, tornadoes can occur during the offseason like in the case of the Indiana State Tornado that occurred on November 22, 1992 and left behind a trail of destruction.
Safety During a Tornado
A tornado can cause irreversible damage, so preparedness is key. Preventative measures and various precautions need to be in place for those who live in tornado-prone areas. Pre-determined evacuation plans should be in place as well as the installation of storm cellars or access to a basement. The media, as well as storm signals, can warn those who are vulnerable to impending danger.