Tornado meaning

tôr-nā'dō
The definition of tornado is a twirling, narrow funnel of wind with speeds of 100 to 300 miles per hour that can damage anything in its path.
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A violent thunderstorm in western Africa or nearby Atlantic waters.
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A tornado's path can range from just 100 yards, to one mile wide, or to a path of up to 15 miles wide.
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F-4 (207-260 mph) Devastating damage characterized by destroyed well-constructed homes, structures lifted from their foundations, blown cars, airborne large debris.
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A tornado warning means that either storm spotters have seen a funnel, or radar is indicating a possible funnel. Tornado sirens may sound in your area. You will need to take shelter immediately, listen for updates and remain in a safe place until the tornado has passed.
  • If you are outside, go to a low-lying area, like a ravine or ditch and cover your head with your hands. Do not take shelter under an overpass. If you are in a trailer or car, seek shelter in a sturdy building immediately. If you are in a building, go to the basement or lowest floor and go to the center of an interior room, like a closet, bathroom, or hallway that is away from windows, doors, corners, and outside walls.
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A wall cloud will form, a low mass of clouds which rotates.
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F-0 (40-72 mph) Light damage characterized by broken tree branches, damaged chimneys, toppled shallow-rooted trees.
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F-1 (73-112 mph) Moderate damage characterized by peeled off roof surfaces, snapped tree trunks, overturned mobile homes, destroyed garages.
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F-2 (113-157 mph) Considerable damage characterized by damaged roof structures, destroyed mobile homes, airborne debris, uprooted large trees.
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F-3 (158-205 mph) Severe damage characterized by torn walls and roof structures, destroyed small buildings, most trees uprooted.
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Tornadoes will typically travel in a northeast direction, depending on the winds.
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Most tornadoes will not last for more than 10 minutes.
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In W Africa and the adjacent Atlantic, a severe thundersquall.
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A violently rotating column of air extending from a cumulonimbus cloud to the Earth, ranging in width from a few meters to more than a kilometer and whirling at speeds between 64 km (40 mi) and 509 km (316 mi) per hour or higher with comparable updrafts in the center of the vortex. The vortex may contain several smaller vortices rotating within it. Tornadoes typically take the form of a twisting, funnel-shaped cloud extending downward from storm clouds, often reaching the ground, and dissolving into thin, ropelike clouds as the tornado dissipates. Tornadoes may travel from a few dozen meters to hundreds of kilometers along the ground. Tornadoes usually form in the tail end of violent thunderstorms, with weaker funnels sometimes forming in groups along a leading squall line of an advancing cold front or in areas near a hurricane . The strongest tornadoes, which may last several hours and travel hundreds of kilometers, can cause massive destruction in a relatively narrow strip along their path. The causes of tornado formation are not well understood.
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(meteorology) A violent windstorm characterized by a twisting, funnel-shaped cloud.

A tornado is a rotating column of air, pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud, and nearly always observable as a funnel cloud or tuba. Its vortex, meters in diameter, rotates counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere, and clockwise in the southern hemisphere, with wind speeds of 160 to more than 480 kilometres per hour.

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A tornado forms, which is accompanied by high winds and damaging hail. Tornadoes are frequently spawned by huge thunderstorms called "supercells."
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F-5 (261-318 mph) Incredible or violent damage characterized by lifted strong-framed houses from foundations, damaged concrete structures, airborne vehicle-size missiles and debarked trees.

An example of a tornado is the whirlwind that carried Dorothy and her dog Toto away to Oz in the movie The Wizard of Oz.

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A violently rotating column of air extending from a cumulonimbus cloud to the ground, ranging in width from a few meters to more than a kilometer, with destructive winds up to 510 kilometers (316 miles) per hour or higher. Tornadoes are typically associated with a funnel cloud pendant from a storm's wall cloud, often extending to the bottom of the tornado.
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A whirlwind or hurricane.
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Any whirlwind or hurricane.
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Before a thunderstorm forms, there is an area in the lower atmosphere of horizontal, spinning air caused by a change in wind direction and an increase in the wind’s speed along with an increase in height.
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When the thunderstorm starts to develop, the updraft lifts the area of spinning air, changing its pitch from horizontal to vertical. At this point, there is a large area of rotation, from two to six miles in diameter, where the tornado typically forms.
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"Tornado Alley" indicates the states which have the highest possibilities of having a tornado: Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and Texas. In these areas the plains are mostly flat and are where cold air masses from Canada and the Rocky Mountains collide with warm and moist air masses from the Gulf of Mexico.
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Tornadoes can form in any area at any time of the year; but, most tornadoes form in the southern regions of the U. S. in early spring. The tornado season every year goes from April until mid-June.
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A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado. It implies a severe thunderstorm warning, as any thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado will be severe. Usually, there will also be a threat for large hail and high winds.
  • When a watch is issued, stay alert to changing weather conditions, especially looking for dark green clouds or orange-gray skies, hail, rotating clouds or funnels, and listen for a loud roar. Also, stay tuned to local weather updates and be ready to take action quickly.
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A violently whirling column of air, with wind speeds of about 100 to 300 miles per hour, extending downward from a cumulonimbus cloud, esp. in Australia and the central U.S.: usually appearing as a rapidly rotating, slender, funnel-shaped cloud and typically causing great destruction along its narrow path.
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See VxWorks.
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A rolled pork roast.
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When warm air rises, the atmosphere is considered unstable. When the air is cooler than the surrounding air, it will sink and the atmosphere is said to be stable.
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Origin of tornado

  • Alteration (probably influenced by Spanish tornado turned) (past participle of tornar to turn) of Early Modern English ternado violent thunderstorm, hurricane from Spanish tronada thunderstorm from tronar to thunder from Latin tonāre (s)tenə- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Spanish tronada (thunderstorm), from tronar (to thunder), from Latin tonare (to thunder), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)tene- (to thunder). The 'o' and 'r' were reversed in English (metathesis) under influence of Spanish tornar (to twist, to turn), from Latin tornare (to turn).
    From Wiktionary