Tornadoes Facts For Children
Tornadoes are very serious storms that nature generates, and they are extremely dangerous because they are created quickly and can be off and running faster than some people can be warned. A tornado is a rotating cloud of activity that has a distinctive funnel shape and they are usually caused by powerful thunderstorms. The force of the wind from a tornado can reach 300 miles per hour, and this is strong enough to drive a toothpick or a piece of paper or aluminium foil into the trunk of a large oak tree.
With a tornado, the damage appears when the tip of the funnel touches the ground or the top of a tree, building, or roof. The wind is so fierce that it can lift an entire apartment building into the air. Tornadoes are quite capricious and they can destroy buildings instantly, or simply lift them up and set them back down again unharmed.
Tornadoes can occur anywhere and at any time if the conditions and weather are right. These giant storms need moist warm air and cool dry air in order to form because these two ingredients create an unstable atmosphere. When you have a shift in wind speed and direction at this same time, the setting becomes perfect for tornadoes. Surprisingly these rotating windstorms are still a mystery in many ways to scientists and the actual events that create them and cause them to disintegrate are still not completely known.
It is very rare for a tornado to happen in Britain, and when tornado like winds stuck the Midlands of England in 2007 there hadn't been anything quite like it since 1931! However, they are not so rare in the USA. Most of these fierce storms happen in the USA between the months of May and September, and a great deal of all tornado activity happens in the Midwestern area of the United States. There are some states where tornadoes occur more often than any other location states including Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. The place of the most frequent storm activity is shaped much like a hall, or corridor, and has been dubbed "Tornado Alley".
The people that live in areas that experience frequent tornadoes usually have basements and shelters that they can use to hide in until the danger from the storms have passed. Even if their homes or buildings are destroyed, people and animals are safe while the winds are roaring over their heads. The people in the most damage are those in mobile homes that have no basements and little support from the ferocious winds. When only one tornado touches the ground, it can create devastation that is a mile in width and up to 50 miles long.
These naturally occurring windstorms have been highlights of many books and movies. In "The Wizard of Oz", it is a tornado that whirls Dorothy and Toto from Kansas to the Land of Oz. In reality, the dangers of being caught in a tornado are quite serious and you should always take cover if a tornado has been sighted in your vicinity. The track and path of these storms are very hard to predict so warnings and tornado watches will be issued for a large area by alert weathermen. A warning means for you to seek shelter immediately in a place without windows, and a tornado watch means to be on the lookout for possible danger.
Having a weather radio is handy because it alerts listeners to all types of weather problems, including tornadoes. Everyone should know that a basement, storm cellar, or inside room without windows is the safest place if a tornado is spotted. Many people will hide in the bathroom with a small mattress or thick quilts protecting and covering their heads and bodies. Never go outside to look for a tornado, leave this type of work to the professional tornado chasers.
This is an original news article © The Kids Window