7 Spiralling Facts About Tornadoes

May 5, 2023

By Shreesha Ghosh

Image source: Freepik

Twisting Tornadoes

Tornadoes, or twisters, are hazardous wind spirals that can result in catastrophic damage and loss of life. While they may appear captivating from a distance, it's essential to keep a safe distance from these natural calamities. Learn some fascinating facts about tornadoes!

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Quick and Deadly

Tornadoes are brief but destructive. Typically, these spinning winds last only a couple of hours, causing catastrophic consequences. Witnessing a tornado for an extended period of time is a rarity.

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They are Unpredictable

Tornadoes are unpredictable, and there is no foolproof method of predicting them through other weather phenomena. Although rain and lightning are often observed alongside these spinning winds, they are not directly associated with tornadoes.

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Tornadoes vs. Vortexes

Although vortexes and tornadoes share some similarities, the key difference lies in their height. A vortex only becomes a tornado when it reaches the clouds and touches the ground, causing severe damage and destruction.

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Tornado Attacks Have a Time

Tornadoes tend to follow a specific pattern when it comes to timing. While they can occur at any time, they are usually observed between 3 pm and early evening. It's unlikely to witness a tornado in the morning, as they typically strike later in the day.

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They are Transparent

Despite their destructive power, tornadoes are typically transparent. The large gusts of wind that create them are invisible and they only become visible due to the dust and debris they pick up. This makes them appear as a visible funnel-shaped column of rotating air.

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Tornadoes can Traverse Across Water Bodies

Contrary to popular belief, tornadoes can indeed traverse across water bodies. Once a tornado crosses a lake or an ocean, it is known as a waterspout, and it can be equally as dangerous and destructive as a regular tornado on land.

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They Come in Groups

Tornadoes have a tendency to occur in clusters, leading to devastating outbreaks. In the most severe outbreak recorded in 1974, 147 high-power tornadoes ravaged homes and businesses across 13 states in the United States, causing widespread destruction and loss of life.