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Activity 6 - Severe Winds and Tornadoes

Use the resources listed below to help you complete this activity.


To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:

Downbursts and Tornadoes

"The Online Tornado FAQ" - Storm Prediction Center - NOAA
Site reviews the "tornado basics", including what tornadoes are and how they form, how tornadoes "move", how they are defined, and much more. Also has links within the text which open pages with tornado related images.

Severe Weather - National Severe Storm Laboratory - NOAA
This site explains how tornadoes form using color images. Also diproves several tornado myths, reviews where tornadoes occur, and tips on how to stay informed about tornadoes.

"Tornadoes" - National Climatic Data Center - NOAA
Site includes data (maps) of tornado occurrences by state, grouped according to tornado size.

"Downbursts..." - National Weather Service - NOAA
This site uses illustrations to explain what causes downbursts, how they differ from tornadoes, and why they can be dangerous for airplanes.

Tornado Safety Tips

Tornado Safety Tips - FEMA
Fact sheet explains the difference between a tornado watch and warning, how to recognize tornado danger, and also reviews tips for safety before, during, and after a tornado.

"Tornado Safety" - Storm Prediction Center - NOAA
Article reviews the basic steps for tornado safety. Click on links to view tornado and damage images.

"Tornado Preparedness Tips for School Administrators" - Storm Prediction Center - NOAA
This site looks specifically at steps schools should take to assure student safetyy during a tornado, including finding shelter and what to do after the tornado.

"Thunderstorm and Camping Safety Tips" - National Severe Storm Laboratory - NOAA
Includes tips on protecting yourself from tornadoes associated with thunderstorms while in the outdoors hiking or camping.


Inquiring Further:

To learn more about cyclone circulation, visit the following web sites:

"Getting Around the Coriolis Force" - Van Domelen, D.J., The Ohio State University, Department of Physics
Online article reviews the basic physics behind the Coriolis effect, how the Coriolis effect influences the operation of the atmosphere and oceans, and why the Coriolis effect is only relevant on certain (larger) scales.

To learn more about wind shear and airplanes, visit the following web sites:

"Escape Through Time - Planes" - NOVA Online
Briefly reviews the dangers caused by downbursts to aiplanes and discusses steps that have been taken to reduce the number of incidents involving microbursts and planes.

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Last updated: May 11, 2010

This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the AGI Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.




Severe Weather

Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 3
Activity 4
Activity 5
Activity 6



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