[LMB] tornados and hurricanes

Kevin Kennedy kevink45 at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 10 16:00:17 BST 2007


>can someone tell me in very non-technical terms* the difference between
>hurricane wind spinning round and round its eye, and a tornado spinning
>round and round, with a down-spout?  that can't be the only difference.
>
>ziviya

Let's see, take a peek at wikipedia, and search my memory.(like Miles, I've 
never had a meteorology course)

One difference is scale. Hurricanes are storms that are miles across and 
travel great distances, thus the massive mess over several states they can 
leave behind. I think they always form out over water.

Tornados are spawned from thunderstorms, which may be covering a large area, 
but according to Wikipedia the tornado itself tends to be around 250 feet 
wide and travel a few miles with windspeeds in the 110 mph range. A tornado 
can flatten the houses on one side of a street, and hardly damage the houses 
across the way.

I saw one once when I was around 10. My family was spending the day at the 
track watching cars qualify for the Indianapolis 500.  We were sitting 
pretty high up on one of the grandstands and could see the funnel cloud 
touch down over on the east side of town (the track is on the west side) and 
it only lasted a few minutes. It was scary as h*ll to watch, especially 
since we lived on the east side, but it did miss our neighborhood. And at 
the track it was only raining intermittantly, there were enough dry periods 
for the cars to run.

Hanover College, where I went to college, was hit by a tornado back on April 
3, 1974. This was part of a HUGE outbreak of toradoes that hit the midwest 
that day. The campus had something like 90 million dollars worth of damage, 
and a lot the town was flattened, including the elementary school-but after 
school had let out.
A lot of people remember this outbreak from all the media attention in Xena, 
Ohio, which was hit by several tornados and sustained a lot of damage.

Kevin

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