Tornado Rotational Energy
What is the rotational energy of an average U.S. tornado?
Writing on USA Toady's weather page,
Joe Schaefer, director of NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center in Norman
Oklahoma states that the typical tornado contains 10,000 kilowatt/hours
That is about the energy used by an old fashioned incandescent 60 watt
light bulb burning continuously for 19 years. The reason a tornado does
so much damage is that all that energy is packed into a very small space.
A hurricane has one million times the energy but that's spread over hundreds
or thousands of square miles.
R. W. "Bob" Avakian
Oklahoma State Univ. Inst. of Technology
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Update: June 2012