What is a Tornado?

A tornado is a violent windstorm formed atmospherically when a mass of cool air meets a layer of warm, moist air. These air masses move from opposite directions and when they collide, the warm air layer rises rapidly.

The two air masses begin to move around each other, horizontally. Winds of different speeds, directions and elevations increase the air movement and they begin to spin around each other and form a horizontal column. As strong, straight-line winds push on the column, it spins even faster and begins to be pulled upward, forming a vertical funnel. This funnel is the ominous cyclone we call a tornado.

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