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Science Fun!

What is a tornado?

Tornados come from powerful thunderstorms and appear as rotating funnel-shaped air with winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour! Tornadoes cause damage when they touch down on the ground by uprooting trees, destroying buildings and homes, throw vehicles hundreds of yards away and more. They can cause damage in areas more than one mile wide and 50 miles long! Severe weather can be very scary for all of us.

Most tornadoes need warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and cool, dry air from Canada. When these two air masses meet, they create instability in the atmosphere. A change in wind direction and an increase in wind speed with increasing height cre-ates an invisible, horizontal spinning effect in the lower atmosphere. Rising air within the updraft tilts the rotating air from horizontal to vertical.

Read more about where tornadoes occur most and safety steps in today’s Science Fun!

Click HERE to download this activity as a printable PDF.

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