Due to the Weather: Ways the Elements Affect Our Lives

By Abraham Resnick | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Tornadoes are sudden windstorms that are extremely violent, consisting of cyclonic whirling movements that have a history of causing hundreds of thousands of deaths throughout the world. Tornadoes occur along an abrupt cold front where air masses of strongly contrasting temperatures collide. They usually take place in late spring or early summer on a calm, hot, humid day. Within that mix there is usually a cumulonimbus cloud and a very low air pressure extending downward in a cone-shaped movement of air in a counter-clockwise direction.

In the United States dozens of deaths from tornadoes occur each year, on average forty-four. The country experiences 163 tornado days and 638 tornadoes annually. As many as 1,109 tornadoes were reported in the United States in 1973, a record year. During a seventy-year-period, 1925- 1995, as many as 4,944 people died from tornado disasters in the United States. From 1967-1996, death from tornadoes averaged 70 each year.

The word tornado is of Spanish origin and is related to the English word "turn." Tornadoes, popularly referred to as twisters, or cyclones, can readily be spotted as a funnel cloud of small diameter, having wind speeds that can reach incredible velocities of 318 miles per hour (most are 100-150 mph). They normally average about 300-400 yards in width (some could extend a mile or more), travel haphazardly along paths from several miles to fifty miles, most often in a southwest to northeast direction and are associated with very low barometric pressure readings and heavy rains.


Killer tornadoes usually strike across the plains of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas late in winter and early spring. This region is known as "Tornado Alley," but other areas of the United States have also been ravaged by lethal tornadoes. When it comes to where a tornado may hit,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Due to the Weather: Ways the Elements Affect Our Lives


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?