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25 votes
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Why is there no middle ground between tornadoes and hurricanes?

Tornadoes are the result of small-scale effects such as the convergence of updraft/downdraft regions in a single thunderstorm, the stretching or entrainment of vertical vorticity, wind shear profiles, ...
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19 votes
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Do tornadoes have eyes?

Yes, if one takes the common meaning of the term "eye of the storm" to be the area of relatively low wind speed near the center of the vortex, most tornadoes can be said to have eyes. Cyclostrophic ...
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18 votes
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Why does the so called "tornado alley" exist?

The kind of tornadoes "tornado alley" refers to are associated with supercell thunderstorms. To first figure out why this region exists, we need to explore why this is a hotspot for supercells. ...
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17 votes
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Why do more tornadoes happen late in the day?

There are two factors at work here: Actual occurrence of tornadoes, Reports of tornadoes. Tornadoes are primarily associated with supercell thunderstorms, though they can also be associated with ...
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12 votes
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Do tornadoes usually avoid areas with many tall buildings?

It is especially rare to see a tornado destroying a series of skyscrapers. Yes, it's rare, but not for the reasons you think. The reason that tornados striking downtown areas is rare is that cities ...
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11 votes
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Does a green or yellow sky actually indicate a tornado?

You know, there hasn't been too much research into this... but there has been some. For the most part, it's been proven that a green sky most likely means that a thunderstorm is coming. According to a ...
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11 votes

Why does the so called "tornado alley" exist?

In addition to @casey's answer regarding the conditions (which undoubtedly is the main answer), don't forget the issues of size and sampling. In the US, the tornadoes can be large and destructive. ...
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9 votes
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What is the motivation of using the Enhanced Fujita Scale in place of the Fujita Scale?

Both the Fujita (F) and Enhanced Fujita (EF) scales measure damage and then use damage as a proxy for wind speed. Wind speed at the low levels is not directly measured unless the tornado is either ...
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8 votes
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Are EF6 tornadoes officially recognized?

Basically the de facto best operational source would probably be the Storm Prediction Center website. They provide this table: It caps out at EF5. However it also true to note that the scale ...
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7 votes
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What is the synoptic/atmospheric setup that is causing the U.S. severe weather outbreak in May 2019?

Summarizing the comments I made above in this question and in this one - Does this weather pattern have a name ? I believe significant parts of the US are experiencing a Stationary Front for the ...
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7 votes

How does the tornado chaser locate the spot?

It starts by identifying days with good overlay of shear and surface-based instability. In the US we have the Storm Prediction Center that helps indicate such days looking at models. Generally the ...
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5 votes

Are EF6 tornadoes officially recognized?

No. The highest is the EF5. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_Fujita_scale
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4 votes
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Tornadoes meeting with an Immovable, Unbreakable, Large Cube

It depends. Take a look at this recorded presentation from the 27th Conference on Severe Local Storms by David C. Lewellen and the accompanying pre-print. This talk focuses on the effect of ...
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4 votes

Is there any video evidence of animals raining from the sky?

Brian Dunning already went into this extensively in episode 4170 of Skeptoid: It's Raining Frogs and Fish In 1901, a rainstorm in Minneapolis, MN produced frogs to a depth of several inches, so ...
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4 votes

Is there any video evidence of animals raining from the sky?

I'll attempt some answer, but must admit it's a bit speculative. I think, like with many unusual/rare phenomena, there's a fair bit of observational bias and of psychology involved as well. Mechanism ...
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4 votes

Tornado prediction or forecasting by supercomputers

Honestly, such a question is almost like "what is the meaning of life." It is a very loaded question in a single sentence. I'll start with tackling the issue of supercomputers. I think ...
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3 votes

Tornados from landspouts or gustnados

Although there is a superficial resemblance between tornados and dust devils, they are very different. There is no connection between the two. I have seen lots of dust devils in reality, but tornados ...
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3 votes

Why does the so called "tornado alley" exist?

Tornado alley exists because warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with cool dry air from over the Rocky mountains, this causes instability in the atmosphere. These two ingredients meet ...
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3 votes

Do tornadoes usually avoid areas with many tall buildings?

I think you need some statistics to bolster your argument. It could be that there aren't so many big cities in America's 'tornado alloy', so the footprint of a super-cell storm has a low probability ...
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2 votes
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If North America were in the southern hemisphere, would the mountains and high desert have to be -east- of Tornado Alley?

No, the mountains would still need to be west of tornado alley. It all starts with temperatures. You often hear the colloquial "warm\cold airmass battle" image. But more specifically, the vital ...
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2 votes
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Could a large burst of super-heated or super-cooled air cause tornadoes to fall apart?

Changing air currents is very difficult and energy intensive. You'd need to alter an entire weather system - no easy feat. If you heated a very large region of cool air you might prevent the ...
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2 votes

Appearance of Tornado

The characteristic funnel of a tornado is caused by condensed water. A tornado is a swirling mass of air with very high vertical vorticity and a corresponding drop in pressure. Large tornados can ...
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2 votes

Are EF6 tornadoes officially recognized?

Dr. Fujita constructed a scale connecting Beaufort Force, Fujita Scale, and Mach number which shows that the Fujita Scale theoretically goes to 12 (F12). As fortunate (and as horrible) as it would be ...
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1 vote
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Why are waterspouts less powerful than tornadoes?

Part of it is due to friction. You can see in this video of a landfalling waterspout the influence that enhanced friction has on tightening the circulation. So, like the ice skater analogy, enhancing ...
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1 vote

Conditions of Thunderstorms

For lightning to form there has to be a rising current of air within the cloud, carrying ice crystals and water droplets upwards. The droplets become hail, and start to fall as the air becomes thinner,...
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1 vote

Tornados from landspouts or gustnados

I think what you are asking is there a way to do a research project that would look for a correlation between number of dust devils and tornadoes. Dust devils, being very local phenomena, are not ...
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1 vote

At the same speed, is a tornado as dangerous as straight wind?

I'd have to say a tornado would be more dangerous than a straight wind of equal speed. Tornados have a very low-pressure center and violent updrafts as can be seen in this YouTube video . As the roofs ...
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1 vote

Do warnings verify better nearer radars?

This may/may not actually answer your question "Do warnings verify better" because of the qualitative word "better" and other factors that play a role, such as terrain and forecasting office. Another ...
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