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Tornado Facts

Tornado Facts

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1 A tornado is as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 mph.
2 Damage paths of tornadoes can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.
3 Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes once on land.
4 Rotating thunderstorms are the best predictors of tornado activity.They are well defined thunderstorms on radar that may include hail, severe winds, lightning, or flash floods.
5 Tornadoes can occur when a warm front meets a cold front, forming a thunderstorm, which then can spawn 1 or more "twisters."
6 Most twisters or cyclones travel from southwest to northeast and can move in the opposite direction for short periods of time. A tornado can even backtrack if it is hit by winds from the eye of the thunderstorm.
7 Funnel clouds usually last less than 10 minutes before dissipating, and many only last several seconds. On rare occasion, cyclones can last for over an hour.
8 A tornado may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel.
9 Twisters strike predominantly along Tornado Alley a flat stretch of land from western Texas to North Dakota. This region is a hotspot for tornadoes because the dry polar air from Canada meets the warm moist tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico.
10 Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.

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