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How do tornadoes form?

This has been an active severe weather season so far and tornadoes are one of the most dangerous types of severe weather.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 6:33 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - This has been an active severe weather season so far and tornadoes are one of the most dangerous types of severe weather.

How exactly does this dangerous storm form?

It all starts with the surface wind. Strong winds at the surface alongside stronger winds higher up in the air/atmosphere will create a column of spinning air. This area of spinning air will continue until a strong thunderstorm moves through. Thunderstorms like to move air upward using what's called an "updraft."

Once the updraft moves into the area of spinning air the column moves vertically into the thunderstorm creating a rotating area in the thunderstorms.

This rotating area will build downwards in a lower hanging spinning area called a "wall cloud." A wall cloud is one of the tell-tale signs that a storm is about to produce a tornado. If the rapidly spinning area of the storm touches the ground then it is a tornado but sometimes it will spin without a touchdown in what's called a "funnel cloud."

These are dangerous storms so always be weather-aware before a strong storm moves into your region.

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