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Name: Danielle
Status: student
Age:  13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
How do meteroligist predict tornadoes?


Replies:
Danielle,

There are several conditions that can cause tornado formation. When these conditions exist, meteorologists can predict tornado likelihood for a certain area or along a line in in front of a cold or warm front. Commonly, a jet stream lying above and to an angle to the surface wind direction, plus a large difference in water vapor in the air on the two sides of a front are contributing factors. Using modern Doppler radar, there are signatures of spinning air (called vorticity) that can be seen in a thunderstorm prior to a tornado actually forming; these are looked for very closely by meteorologists to try to detect precise locations where a tornado may form.

David Cook
meteorologist
Argonne National Laboratory


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