Wednesday, August 8, 2012
How do tornadoes form?
When there is warm and moist air in the lower atmosphere and cold air in the upper atmosphere, the conditions are ideal for a tornado to form. The next necessary step is some type of catalyst, usually a strong wind gust or change in wind direction, that causes the warm and cold air to mix. The catalyst causes warm air to rise, creating an updraft and facilitating early cloud rotation (usually vertical rotation). As warm air continues to ascend into thunderstorm clouds and wind gusts occur, a strong vortex will form and eventually touch down to form a tornado.