A tornado, also called a twister, is a violently rotating funnel of air, set off by giant thunderclouds called supercells. The vortex, known as a land spout, is a whirling mass of air hanging from the base of the cloud down to the ground, like the hose of a vacuum cleaner. Over water, a tornado forms a water spout. Tornadoes can also occur as two or more spinning vortexes spinning around each other.

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air, extending from a thunderstorm, which are in contact with the ground. Tornadoes develop when wind variations with height support rotation in the updraft. Tornadoes come in different sizes, many as narrow rope-like swirls, others as wide funnels.

Across the Plains, tornadoes can be seen from miles away. However, in the southeast, and especially Georgia, tornadoes are often hidden in large swaths of rain and hail, making them very difficult to see and even more dangerous. Visibility is often affected by terrain constraints in Georgia as well.

As stated before, tornadoes come in different shapes and sizes. They are ranked using the Enhanced Fujita scale. The majority of tornadoes which occur are classified as a weak tornado. Usually weak tornados will last for just a few minutes and have wind speeds of 100 mph or less. Some tornadoes intensify further and become strong or violent. Strong tornadoes last for twenty minutes or more and may have winds of up to 200 mph, while violent tornadoes can last for more than an hour with winds between 200 and 300 mph! These violent tornadoes are rare in occurrence.

Credit: NOAA

Picture Credit : Google 

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