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Tornadoes…one of nature’s destructive forces


Tornado defined

Although tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, these destructive forces of nature are found most frequently in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer months. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

What causes tornadoes?

Thunderstorms develop in warm, moist air in advance of eastward-moving cold fronts. These thunderstorms often produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes. Tornadoes in the winter and early spring are often associated with strong, frontal systems that form in the Central States and move east. Occasionally, large outbreaks of tornadoes occur with this type of weather pattern. Several states may be affected by numerous severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

During the spring in the Central Plains, thunderstorms frequently develop along a “dryline,” which separates very warm, moist air to the east from hot, dry air to the west. Tornado-producing thunderstorms may form as the dryline moves east during the afternoon hours.

Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, in the Texas panhandle, and in the southern High Plains, thunderstorms frequently form as air near the ground flows “upslope” toward higher terrain. If other favorable conditions exist, these thunderstorms can produce tornadoes.

Tornadoes occasionally accompany tropical storms and hurricanes that move over land. Tornadoes are most common to the right and ahead of the path of the storm center as it comes onshore.

(to be continued…)

3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by jonathan - January 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Categories: Opinion / General Information, Phenomenon   Tags:

Eclipse visible in UAE

Dubai/Sharjah @ 12:11 pm: The sun looked like someone had taken a bite out of it from the top during the partial solar eclipse on Tuesday, 04-Jan-11.

Groups of curious people peered through the refracting telescope set up on the steps of the Burj Khalifa. The eclipse was visible from 12.11 to 2.30pm and it reached its maximum at 1.30pm.

“It’s a 20 per cent [visibility],” Hassan Ahmad Al Hariri, CEO of the Dubai Astronomy Group, said.

“The dark spots you see are sunspots,” he told those who queued as the moon passed in front of the sun. He explained that the spots are actually massive gas storms on the surface of the sun.

Not what they seem

“The hydrogen explosions are not as black as they look, he said, but are colourful and can be seen if photographed through special infra-red lens with time-lapse photography.

“This is the first time I have seen a [solar] eclipse,” Douglas Masuku said, adding that “it’s an interesting experience.”

The group had also set up a reflecting telescope which cast an image of the sun on a screen, as looking at the sun directly would cause blindness.

In Sharjah, dozens of people queued up to watch the eclipse at the Sharjah Science Museum.

Curators had also set up a range of activities for schoolchildren before the start of the eclipse.

“We provided filtered glasses and hand-held mirrors for visitors to view the solar eclipse in a safe manner, because you should not look directly at the sun,” Ghada Abdullah, an instructor at the museum, said. Pupils from Rosary School, Sharjah German School and various public schools visited the museum too.

What a wonderful scenery, isn’t it?

10 comments - What do you think?  Posted by jonathan - January 5, 2011 at 8:26 am

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Dead Birds Falling!

Around 500 dead birds have fallen from the sky in Louisiana, found scattered along a quarter-mile portion of highway in Point Coupee Parish, the AP reports. The discovery is approximately 300 miles south of Beebe, Arkansas, where just days earlier thousands of the same species of birds also fell from the sky.

Initial tests conducted by biologists on the red-winged blackbirds and starlings found in Arkansas revealed that the birds suffered internal injuries that formed deadly blood clots. Countless explanations have been speculated, from intense high-altitude weather like lightning or hail to disturbance from fireworks. Disease and poison were determined to be far less likely causes, though full test results won’t rule them out until next week.

“There was probably some physical reason, but I doubt anyone will ever know what it was,” Thurman Booth, Arkansas’ wildlife services director, told CBS.

The latest occurrence of more dead birds turning up in Louisiana only compounds local residents’ worries, as in the week prior to the Arkansas blackbird mystery, 83,000 dead drum fish washed up along a river about 100 miles west of Beebe. Wildlife officials claim the incidents are not related.

A Kentucky woman also reported finding dead birds in her yard Monday, though numbering far less in the dozens.

Weigh your prediction. what do you think is the reason?

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by jonathan - at 5:03 am

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