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Myon- Investigating Tornadoes

Investigating Tornadoes

1. thunderstorms

2. heavy rain, strong wind, thunder, lightning, and hail

3. (1)warm, moist air rises and air cools as it moves higher

4. water vapor cooling and becoming liquid (clouds)

5. large clouds that make thunderstorms

6.(2) the cloud builds with more water drops

Cloud is too heavy –precipitation falls called downdraft

Warm air continues to rise- called updraft (the updraft feeds the storm)

7. (3)cool air/ precipitation (downdraft) cools the air

Makes the storm end because there is no more warm moist air to make an updraft to fee the storm-threat for tornado is over


1. large storms that can cause tornadoes-create spinning air columns form strong winds

2. spinning column of air-2 to 10 miles wide, 50,000 ft tall

3. from strong winds of a thunderstorm

4. high winds make the supercell strong-high level winds (winds on top) blow faster than winds on the bottom –makes supercell tip

5. High winds and low winds separate- this means updraft (warm air) and downdraft (cool air) separate. The warm air keeps feeding the storm to make it last longer.

Funnel clouds

1. mesocyclones (spinning columns of air) reach to the ground

2. spinning air column moving towards the ground; cone shaped cloud; wide at the top and narrow at the bottom

3. a tornado is a funnel cloud that touches the ground

4. The mesocyclone is moving very fast. This sucks up the weak winds closer to the ground and makes them spin. The spinning air column gets bigger and bigger. It keeps pulling the weaker air into the funnel cloud until it touches the ground to make a tornado.


Tornado Alleys

1. United States

2. Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Ohio

3. land is flat- no mountains to stop air masses

4. Maritime Tropical- warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico- moves North towards the poles – moves east through tornado alley because of prevailing westerlies

Continental Polar- cool, dry air from Canada- moves south towards equator –moves east through tornado alley because of prevailing westerlies

5. warm, cool air do not like to mix-makes a front

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