Tornado: A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that comes into contact with the Earth’s surface as well as a cumulonimbus cloud or, on rare occasions, the cumulus cloud’s base.
Although the term cyclone is used in meteorology to describe a weather phenomenon having a low-pressure depression in the center around which winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, it is commonly referred to as a twister, whirlwind, or cyclone.
Tornadoes can be seen as a condensation funnel originating from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud, with a cloud of rotating debris and dust beneath it. Tornadoes typically have wind speeds of less than 110 mph (180 km/h), are around 250 feet (80 meters) in diameter, and travel a few miles (kilometers) before disintegrating.
Tornadoes may reach wind speeds of more than 300 mph (480 km/h), have a diameter of more than two miles (3 km), and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).
Various Types of Tornado
Tornadoes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including multiple vortex tornadoes, landspouts, and waterspouts. A spiraling funnel-shaped wind current connects a big cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud to form a waterspout.
Non-supracellular tornadoes that originate over bodies of water are the most common classification, however, there is debate about whether they are real tornadoes.
These swirling air columns are more abundant near the equator in tropical environments and less common at higher latitudes. The gustnado, dust devil, fire whirl, and steam devil are examples of natural tornado-like events.
Tornado Hit Many Different Countries
Tornadoes are most common in North America, particularly in central and southeastern regions of the United States colloquially known as Tornado Alley; the US and Canada have by far the most tornadoes of any countries in the world.
Tornadoes can also be found in South Africa, much of Europe (excluding Spain, the Alps, the Balkans, and northern Scandinavia), western and eastern Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, and eastern India, and Japan, the Philippines, and southern South America (Uruguay and Argentina).
Tornadoes can be spotted by pulse-Doppler radar, which recognizes patterns in velocity and reflectivity data such as hook echoes and debris balls, as well as the efforts of storm spotters, before or during their occurrence.
Tornadoes Happen More Frequently in The US
Every year, about 1,200 tornadoes strike the United States. We don’t know the real average number of tornadoes that occur each year because official tornado records only go back to 1950.
Furthermore, tornado spotting and reporting techniques have evolved significantly over the previous several decades, implying that we are seeing more tornadoes than actually occur.
Tornado season is the time of year when the United States experiences the most tornadoes. From May through early June, the southern Plains (Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas) see their peak “tornado season.”
On the Gulf Coast, spring arrives sooner. Tornado season begins in June or July in the northern Plains and upper Midwest (North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota). But keep in mind that tornadoes can strike at any time of year. Tornadoes can strike at any time of day or night, but the majority strike between 4 and 9 p.m.
Tornado Hit Kansas in The US
Officials reported Saturday that a suspected tornado that ripped across sections of Kansas damaged many buildings, injured several people, and knocked out power to more than 6,500 people.
On Friday evening, the probable twister passed across sections of southeast Wichita and Andover, according to officials. During a news conference early Saturday morning, Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell estimated that 50 to 100 structures were damaged in Sedgwick County, however, the exact number of buildings affected in Andover was not immediately known.
Only a few injuries were reported, according to officials. Three people were injured in Sedgwick County, including one woman who was seriously hurt. No injuries have been reported in Butler County, but a further evaluation will be undertaken Saturday morning.
While the exact number of buildings damaged was not immediately known, Russell stated that more than 900 properties were in the probable tornado’s path.
Some communities were “affected to the point where houses were entirely blown down,” he claimed, citing regions where “extremely bad damage” had occurred.
As the tornado ripped through their neighborhood, Mandy Fouse, who lives near the YMCA, rushed her two children to a rear area of their basement.
“By the time we sat down, the lights had gone out, and the house began to sound like it was being vacuumed,” Fouse told the Wichita Eagle. “The windows began to break, and we began to hear something hitting the house.”
The roof has a hole and the windows have been blown out, according to Fouse. Her father and father-in-law arrived at her home and assisted her and her children. As they drove out of the area, they were surrounded by wreckage.
The tornado came in from the southwest, near a residential area. According to the Wichita Eagle, more than a dozen homes have been damaged in that region. Several surrounding homes’ roofs were damaged, according to a Wichita Eagle reporter.
Multiple important intersections were blocked by debris and collapsed powerlines, according to local authorities. Saturday morning, Highway 54 through Andover was still closed.
As the tornado proceeded northeastward from town, several storm chasers followed it as radar confirmed the tornado.
At 9:30 p.m. local time, Andover received golf ball-sized hail from separate thunderstorms that moved through after the tornado.
Unfortunately, severe tornadoes are not uncommon in Andover.
On April 26, 1991, the town was struck by an F5 tornado. That tornado claimed the lives of 13 individuals at a mobile home park, as well as four other people, and caused $300 million in damage. Over 200 persons were also hurt.
As a massive storm system raced eastward from the central Rockies into the Midwest, several more tornadoes struck Nebraska and Kansas on Friday. As of Friday evening, more than 20,000 people in Kansas were without power. By Saturday am, the number had reduced to around 2,300.
A probable tornado damaged two residences near Herington, Kansas, about 70 miles north of Wichita.
Tornadoes were also reported in Wamego, Kansas, and near Stamford, Nebraska, as well as other parts of eastern Kansas, however, there was little damage. Strong straight-line winds drove railroad cars off their tracks near Shelton, Nebraska, on Friday evening.