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Real World Monster: Tornado Essay

877 words - 4 pages

Mythical monsters have been haunting our nightmares for millennia, instilling fear with their enormous sizes, malicious demeanor, and sheer destructive powers. For countless centuries, humankind has come up with these creatures to explain the mysteries of the world. A behemoth makes the ground quake with each step it takes. Charybdis of Greek mythology would open her giant mouth and suck down water from the sea and spit it back out three times a day, which created the tides, but also destroyed anything that became caught in the whirlpool that was created. The fiercest creatures tear apart homes, communities, and lives. Extremely few woes can equal these beasts of our imagination, ...view middle of the document...

With the emergence of weather radar, areas nearby began to receive some warning of impending severe weather. Today, the majority of developed countries employ networks of weather radar. Nonetheless, countries still use people to "storm spot", as radar systems cannot actually detect tornadoes, only the signatures that hint at the presence of them. These storm spotters, in the U.S., are trained by the National Weather Service for a multitude of organizations. These organizations activate public warning systems, such as the Emergency Alert System.
Before the 1970's, scientists had no surefire way of knowing the wind speeds of tornadoes, and were left to make educated guesses based on how much destruction was left in the wake of one. Some of those hypothesis put the speeds at approximately 400 miles per hour, over 500 miles per hour, and a few even thought that they might be supersonic. In 1971, Dr. Ted Fujita introduced his idea for a scale of tornado winds, which, with the help of a colleague named Allen Pearson, became what we know as the F scale of tornado intensity. A few years later, the Tornado and Storm Research Organization developed the TORRO scale, which was similar to the F scale, though it had significantly more levels for approximately the same range of wind speeds. Research in the 1980s and 1990s indicated that even after the implementation of the Fujita Scale, the wind speeds of tornadoes were still vastly miscalculated. In response to this new knowledge, the American Meteorological Society introduced the Enhanced Fujita...

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