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Like adding fuel to a fire, more rising warm air builds the cloud larger and larger.
Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. And then you hear the siren warning you to take cover.
Try it risk-free Tornadoes are dangerous storms that affect millions of people. If you've ever lived in a place where tornadoes occur, this is a familiar sequence of events.
When these two work together like this, they create a storm cell.
Some thunderstorms stay like this, but some grow even larger and become supercells.
They always form over the warm waters of the tropical oceans (sea-surface temperatures must be above 26.5° C, or about 76° F) where they draw their energy.
They travel thousands of miles, persist over several days, and, during their lifetime, transport significant amounts of heat from the surface to the high altitudes of the tropical atmosphere.But a tornado doesn't begin to form until the air starts to spin.Scientists are not exactly sure how this happens, but it seems that one way this is possible is when winds at different altitudes within the supercell travel at different speeds. Take a round object, like a ball, and put one hand on each side.Tornadoes and hurricanes appear to be similar in their general structure.Both are characterized by extremely strong horizontal winds swirling around the center, strong upward motion dominating the circulation with some downward motion in the center.While their sporadic occurrence prevents them from drastically impacting the large-scale circulation, they still affect it in ways which must be accounted for and need to be better understood.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.While it's doubtful that you'd actually get taken to Oz if you were caught in a tornado, Kansas is, in fact, well-known for its high frequency of this type of storm.So are other states in the area, such as Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri and Iowa.In fact, in order for a funnel cloud to be officially classified as a tornado, it has to be touching both the source cloud and the ground. These storms can be several miles wide and have wind speeds as fast as 300 mph!They have indiscriminate and unpredictable travel routes and act like giant vacuum cleaners picking up everything in their paths.