Tornadoes 101 | National Geographic

– [Narrator] They begin life as ghosts, gently coursing through
a solitary existence, but slowly, their gentility turns to rage. They grow larger and larger,
hurling and twisting, and desperately reaching
down from the sky, and what began as an invisible shade is turned into a monster. (foreboding music) Tornadoes are powerful
spinning columns of air that stretch from the
ground to the clouds. Most are relatively weak, but the few that grow into large events are extremely violent and
cause immense destruction. Tornadoes occur on six
of the seven continents. The country with the most
tornadoes based on land size is the United Kingdom
with an average of about 33 tornadoes reported each year. But the country with the greatest overall number of tornadoes and the most intense is the United States with
over 1,000 reported annually. Tornadoes, no matter where they occur, are classified as either
supercell tornadoes, which form within supercells, the most powerful class of thunderstorms, or non-supercell tornadoes, which are smaller and weaker and form within non-supercell storms. There are many theories surrounding the formation of tornadoes. One key component they share is the presence of both
high and low pressure air in a given space. Air particles from the
area of high pressure move toward an area of low pressure, a movement that creates wind. Non-supercell tornadoes, such as waterspouts and landspouts, begin when cool high-pressure air and warm low-pressure air are present, particularly near ground level. As air particles move horizontally from the high pressure area
to the low pressure area, wind begins to pick up. Winds blowing at different speeds and in different directions and altitudes begin to blow cyclically. In the case of non-supercell tornadoes, they turn into an upright spinning vortex. But to create supercell tornadoes, the circumstances are slightly different. Violent supercell storms
draw warm low-pressure air up to a higher altitude, leaving behind cool high-pressure
air near the ground. Air particles attempting to bring the two levels of air
pressure into balance creates wind that blows vertically. The wind increases and starts
to blow in a cyclical fashion, creating a pipe of wind
that rolls along the ground. In both cases, an upward current
of wind called an updraft provides the final ingredient
for creating a tornado. In a budding non-supercell tornado, an updraft stretches its vertical vortex until it reaches the clouds. To create a supercell tornado, an updraft lifts the
rolling pipe of wind upward until it stands upright. Then it pulls condensation from the skies and into the spinning vortex. As soon as the vortices,
supercell or non-supercell, connect the ground to the clouds, they are officially
classified as tornadoes. All tornadoes are rated
based on a system called the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The Enhanced Fujita, or EF, Scale, classifies tornadoes from
a rating of EF0 to EF5. The rating is based on
a number of factors, such as the damage a tornado causes and the Doppler radar
estimates of its wind speeds. EF0 tornadoes are the weakest, with the wind speeds between
65 to 85 miles per hour. EF5 tornadoes are the strongest, with the wind speeds
exceeding 200 miles per hour. One of the strongest tornadoes recorded occurred in Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma in 1999. Born from a supercell thunderstorm, the EF5 tornado had wind speeds
of over 300 miles per hour. It resulted in 36 fatalities,
injured nearly 600, and caused about $1 billion in damages. (somber music) (dramatic music) While tornadoes cannot be prevented, measures are being taken
to protect communities. Meteorologists closely
monitor storm fronts in high-risk areas and try to forecast possible tornadic events. In doing so, they help mitigate
damages to neighborhoods and save countless lives, even in the face of one of
nature’s most formidable.

100 thoughts on “Tornadoes 101 | National Geographic”

  1. These violent storms occur around the world, but the United States is a major hotspot with about a thousand tornadoes every year. To learn more, you can read on here:

  2. archeologists have unearthed a 7.5 million-year-old mammoth fossil in Turkey's central Kayseri province, a rare discovery as the fossil was well-preserved as a whole.

  3. Tornado footage and info without childish screaming, that's refreshing. Usually you have to turn to Pecos Hank for that kind of footage…

  4. This is NOT a good explanation. What leads to high and low pressure air? How do these recirculation regions occur? What causes the updraft? Maybe it's a bit complicated…but dumbing it down too much gives you an incomplete picture and is of little value. C'mon Nat Geo. Your 101 series is better than this…

  5. When will the US enter the 21st century and use metric measurements ? Most of the planet does not understand miles per hour !

  6. I don't live in a tornado zone but for years I have had very real and detailed dreams of being in a tornado. I hear them, see them and think of all sorts of creative ways to escape and to protect myself, things I had never thought of before when awake. So, when one comes my way, I hope I'll pull from those dreams. šŸ˜¬

  7. The visual depiction of the formation of a tornado, along with real ones, it was scary at the same time informative. Super video. Loved it.
    BTW, if you want an episode on floods, welcome to Kerala, India šŸ™‚. For last two years, the monsoon season is replaced with flood season. You can have a live telecast of raining and consequent flood within an hour.

  8. In El Reno for our state trap shooting tournament, you could definitely tell that there was terrible damage there. Even after 20 years there were absolutely no trees, and if there were any they were bent over naturally from the constant wind. It was breathtaking because of how open it was. Now for the fun part. Since it is so windy out there because there are no trees to slow the wind, The birds would fly super irratically. Worst spot to hold a trap shooting tournament šŸ˜‚

  9. I lived in tornado alley (Tulsa) for 12 years and we always kept the radio and TV tuned to the weather reports when supercells were tracking toward town. I never had to hit the basement, but we had a few close calls – pretty scary!

  10. What would happen if you can attract a tornado, and use some kind of huge vortex ring maker. And shoot it upward ? You'd probably need huge kinetic energy like a small bomb to ignite the ring

    Tornadoes are based on damage they cause, with wind speed being measured by how much destruction is present.
    A 200 MPH tornado can be classified as an EF0. This can happen if the tornado is over open land, but the outer band of the tornado hits a lawn chair in your backyard.
    If a 200 MPH tornado directly impacts a structure, damage will be assessed, and it will be classified as an EF5 tornado.
    It's mainly based on DAMAGE from wind, not the wind itself.

  12. I learned about the principles of the formation of tornadoes in Earth science class, so I understand more about the video. I have to study more about why there are no tornadoes in our country. It is amazing that atmospheric phenomena consist of scientific principles, not coincidences.

  13. A F-4 hit Comfrey Minnesota, took out 75 percent of the village all my fathers farm except the house. It came at night. Once the sirens came on we had 1 minute to take cover. We lost a 3 generation farm, it was freighting.

  14. I still didn't understand how vortex are formed for non supercell tornado. How come the plane of each vortex is parallel to the ground? That means wind is having different direction in the same plane??

  15. I haven't seen a tornado yet. But I can feel the strength of the tornadoes occuring those areas. I hope to see it in real. I have learned about typhoon's growing so it was more interesting while I was watching this video because I can understand it.

  16. Good video, but you guys underestimated the importance of warm vs. cold air factors in the formation in tornadoes, especially supercell-based tornadoes (you didnā€™t even mention this). Especially during spring, the Great Plains is a battleground where warm moist air from the Gulf, cold dry air from Canada, and hot dry air from the Southwest collide, creating the perfect conditions for supercell and tornadic conditions.

    A similar scenario occurs in Argentina

  17. tornado's are pretty crazy they come and go so quickly they do so much damage then they are gone in the blink of an eye I was fortunate enough to capture a tornado in my swimming pool as it tore my house apart and put it up on my channel its pretty wild how even a small tornado can have such a large impact

  18. We in Asia tend to overlook tornadoes, and their destructive power is tremendous. That natural propulsion, in particular, makes the tornado the best engine in the world.

  19. thank you I actually learnt a lot
    purple like if you see it

  20. This 101 series is extremely awesome.
    This video let me know how tornado be classified and how it form.
    But the most important is that you let people know there are many nameless heroes devote their everything to protecting people in high-risk areas.
    I certainly believe that their endeavor will harvest multiple sweet results.

  21. Hi Nat Geo,
    Great coverage and explanation of where tornados form and how big. If you guys are looking for more tornados, check my tornado painting on my channel ShawNshawN. Thanks Nat Geo.

  22. I really like the 101 series about the solar system it helps me Learning a lot about the solar system

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