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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 of energy.

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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