Nature’s most powerful storms -animated

How do nature’s giant wind storms form?

tornado_guide466
Type one:

Tornadoes form form when the earth’s heat is very intense or unseasonable hot.
As the ground temperature increases, moist air heats and rises.
When this heated air mass collides with the cold dry air in the upper atmosphere, it explodes upwards, creating a hole in the cold air mass where a thunder cloud may begin to build.
A the thunder storm cloud widens and thickens rain, thunder and lightning can develop from within the colliding air masses.
Upward movement of air can speed up causing winds within the thunder cloud to rotate forming the funnel cloud. Then the funnel drops out of the cloud towards the ground.
The vortex of winds varies in size and shape, duration, intensity and may travel dozens of miles causing wide spread damage to humans, animals and property.

Type Two:

Hurricane, Cyclons or Typhoon is a huge group of tornadoes drift over warm ocean waters.
In the Atlantic and eastern Pacific they are called hurricanes, in the western Pacific they are called typhoons and in the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean they are known as cyclones.
The very warm air from the storm combines with the moist warm ocean surface heat and this moist warm air begins rising.
When the trade winds hit those winds within the rising warm storm cloud , the whirling winds cause the storm to start spinning ans air speeds up and accelerates upward.
This sucks up more warm air off the sea and funnels the cooler, drier upper atmospheric air downwards.
The more warm moist air the storm gathers as it crosses over the surface of the warm ocean the more momentum and force the storm gathers.
The hurricane can last hours to days for a tropical depression of air to grow into a fully-formed hurricane.
Hurricanes are made up of an eye of calm winds and low pressure surrounded by a spinning vortex of high winds and heavy rainstorms.hurricane_guide466

Excerpts and images courtesy of BBC Science and Technology September 8, 2008.

animated guide to natural disasters : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7533941.stm

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