How Tornadoes Form

What Causes A Tornado To Form

Watching tornadoes on the news has made me wonder, what causes tornadoes to form.

Tornadoes only form in unusually violent thunderstorms, when there is sufficient instability (lack of stability) and wind shear ( variation in wind velocity occurring along a direction at right angles to the wind's direction and tending to exert a turning force.)that is located in the lower atmosphere.

The wind shear and inability that forms a tornado usually only exists ahead of a cold front and low pressure systems. The intense spinning of a tornado is partly the reason the updrafts and downdrafts of a thunderstorm (caused by unstable air.) interacting with the wind shear resulting in a tilting of the wind shear to form an upright tornado vortex.

Tornado Alley

While researching what causes tornadoes to form. I have stumbled on a new question, why do most tornadoes form in tornado alley.

Since, the great plains is very flat the dry cold polar air can easily meet the warm moist tropical air from the gulf of mexico. these two air-masses are what causes a tornado to form. The tornado does not form in the great plains it forms between the two air-masses.

Unpredictable Tornadoes

Another question that I had gotten after doing research on tornadoes is, why can't meteorologists predict tornadoes.

Tornadoes can be predicted though, it can't be predicted at the time people need it to be.

For example, a gigantic twister hit Oklahoma city and the people only had 16 minutes to evacuate since that was the time before the tornado that they got the signal. The average time meteorologists report a tornado coming is only 13 minutes before it happens, and it will be almost impossible to report a tornado 30 minutes before it happens with any technology. Meteorologists can only tell if a tornado is coming if they catch it forming.

In conclusion, no matter how good our technology gets we will never be able to get a perfect prediction on tornadoes.