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Name: Jacob
Status:* student
Grade:* 4-6
Location:* TX
Country:* USA
Date: Spring 2012


Question:
Does a tornado with a smaller or larger vortex spin faster?


Replies:
Jacob,

Unfortunately, this question cannot really be answered well, partly because our measurements of tornado spin velocities are primarily deduced from damage caused by the tornado in comparison to damage produced in a laboratory setting by certain wind speeds.

It seems fairly clear from the many surveys of tornado damage in comparison to reported or deduced tornado diameter that the diameter is often not the deciding factor in the spin velocity. The severity (intensity) and height of the thunderstorm that the tornado was produced from seems to be most important.

David R. Cook Meteorologist Climate Research Section Environmental Science Division Argonne National Laboratory


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