Eli Roth once stated, “Natural disasters are terrifying – that loss of control, this feeling that something is just going to randomly end your life for absolutely no reason is terrifying. But, what scares me is the human reaction to it and how people behave when the rules of civility and society are obliterated.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement of his. Our world is full of dangerous conditions that can cause serious damage upon humanity. However, if one can learn to respond, rather than react, it could be the factor that saves lives. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis are among the many natural disasters that have struck devastation on the world. Knowing the causes and cautions of tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis provide us with a deeper understating of when these conditions will arise and how to prepare ourselves for them.
In 2011, 553 people died from a tornado, according to the statistics provided by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Many have pondered what makes these swirling cylinders so destructive and how they even form in the first place. Tornadoes are a cone-shaped collection of destructive air that expands downward from a cloud and onto the earth’s surface. They are often a product of a thunderstorm cloud. This unique weather condition requires several factors to initiate formation. First, low moisture is needed. Secondly, something has to pull the air up from off the ground. Weather.com describes this as a “trigger”. Once the air has been completely absorbed, it will rise, and depending on atmospheric conditions, form a thunderstorm cloud. This atmospheric conditions, includes no stability with rapid temperature decreases. With these factors present, a tornado is likely to form.
Now that the formation of a tornado has been established, it’s important for one to know the different types that could occur. The first is a tornado produced by a supercell thunderstorm. These are formed from ongoing or long storms that contain swirling air. These supercell induced tornadoes are the most common, but also tend to be the most hazardous. Another tornado is a landspout, which is typically not as strong or forceful as a supercell. These have nothing to do with the vortex of air within a thunderstorm, often called a mesocyclone. However, you may notice a landspout underneath cumulus or low positioned clouds. Similar to a landspout is the waterspout tornado. These on the other hand, cause far less destruction of damage. Waterspouts begin to form over ocean waters; however they actually contain freshwater inside their funnels. These usually begin to disperse once they hit land. Other types of tornadoes include firewhirls, gustnados, and dust devils.
Learning how to take caution for these dangerous funnels is crucial. It’s important for one to know the sings of a potential tornado. When a tornado is about to occur, large hail may fall and the sky may be fogged with dark clouds that will sometimes display a...