Tornado Basics


What Is A Tornado?

The Glossary of Meteorology defines a tornado as a “violently rotating column of air, pendant from a cumuliform cloud and underneath a cumuliform cloud, and often (but not always) visible as a funnel cloud“. In order for it to be considered a tornado, it MUST be in contact with the cloud base and the ground. Tornadoes may or may not have a visible funnel.

How to Tornadoes Form?

The truth is, nobody knows the exact mechanics for what makes a tornado happen. What we do know is the basic set of principles that must be present for the conditions to exist for tornadoes to happen. Warm moist air and cold dry air mixing under the right condition can cause the kind of weather conditions that create tornadoes. The worst of these are occure from supercells-which are rotating thunderstorms known as a mesocyclone.