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Nature's Fury

Updated on January 4, 2012


A Tornado known as a twister is a violent and very dangerous rotating column of air that is in contact with the surface of the earth and cumulonimbus clouds. Tornadoes come in different shapes and sizes and they mainly form a condensation funnel. The narrow end touches the earth and is encircled by a cloud of debris and dust. Wind speedsof a tornado can be any where from 110 miles per hour or more than 300 mph. Tornadoes are classified as F1 to F5 depending on the severity.

Types Of Tornadoes

Many of us think of a tornado as being one on the ground but there are many different types of tornadoes. There are waterspouts, land spouts, gustnados, dust devil, fire whirls and steam devils.

Multiple Vortex is a type of tornado in which two or more columns of spinning air rotate around a common center. The multiple vortex can occur with almost any circulation but is often seen in an intense tornado.

Waterspout And Landspout

A waterspout is a tornado that occurs over water. These tornadoes mainly happen over subtropical waters like Florida keys and Northern Adriatic Sea. These tornadoes are long lived and very intense and faster. These are far more dangerous than your fair weather water spout.

A Landspout and a waterspout are about the same. Landspouts create a laminar dust of cloud and they can have strong winds that could cause sever damage.

Gustnado and Dust Devils

A Gustnado is a small vertical swirl that's associated with a down burst. Kind of like a Micro Burst which are seen a lot in the state Of Arizona. Gustnados there not sure if they would classify them as a tornado due to the fact there not connected with a cloud base. Gustnados usually cause wind damage.

Dust Devils look like a tornado but it's a vertical column of air. It's an updraft that's formed near the ground on a hot clear day. Dust Devils are seen a lot out west also especially in the state of Arizona. Dust Devils are weak and Arizonans drive right through them when there crossing over a road but don't be fooled these dust devils while driving through them can move your car.

Fire Whirls

Fire Whirls normally occur near an intense surface heat source like a forest fire. These storms are very rare but they are a catastrophic form of fire. Fire Whirls are columns of ascending air with rotational motion which carry smoke,debris and flames. There basically like a dark tornado you see on the ground but the funnel cloud is nothing but flames as it's twisting.

Safety During A Tornado

There are precautions and preventive measures that a person can take to survive a tornado. Make a plan on what to do if a tornado strikes. Listen and watch the news to see if a warning has been issued. If a warning has been issued get into a basement or an interior first floor room of a sturdy building greatly increases your survival chances. If there is no shelter then get down into a ditch is the next best option, never seek shelter under an highway overpass. Overpasses create an venturi effect, which increases the wind speed and debris under an overpass.

Tornadoes are scary because they can appear without warning but follow the safety measures and you and your family should make it out OK.


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    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 5 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Mr Archer thank you very much for your intrest in the hub. Yes twisters are scarrrry and very nasty to be around. The debris that are left behind from one is amazing.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 5 years ago from Missouri

      Very informative hub. You described all of the ones I knew of, and some I did not. Living here in Tornado Alley, I have seen several, and have watched a couple form. They are terrifying, fascinating, and alltogether destructive. Well done.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      I've never looked on ditches as safe places to hide because of flash flooding in our neck of the woods. I'll have to revise my thinking!

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 6 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      joekreydt: Thankyou. I've always had an interest in severe weather. I think instead of being in the nursing field I should of been a storm chaser. Thanks for your comment.

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 6 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Husky1970: I know exactly what you mean. This year then has been numerous of tornados back east. I never seen so much active weather. It definetly must be global warming. I hope you and your family stay safe during these twisters.

    • profile image

      joekreydt 6 years ago

      This is a great hub! I love learning about things like Tornados and sharks.

    • profile image

      Husky1970 6 years ago

      Tornados seem to be getting more violent and prevalent in this era of global warming. We had a few very damaging ones in Western Massachusetts recently. A rare experience for this part of the country. Your hub offers some very interesting and useful information. Voted up and useful. These things are scary!!!!