Stormy Weather


What are some of the erratic behaviors of tornadoes?

Tornadoes are famous for their ability to destroy one home or other building while leaving the structures next door completely intact. Such random acts of destruction occur either when there is one very slim tornado or there is a multiple-vortex tornado or a tornado with several satellite tornadoes surrounding it. A rope tornado, for instance, can clear a path on the ground that is only a matter of several yards wide. On the other hand, the subvortices (or suction vortices) of a multiple-vortex tornado can have widely varying speeds and widths. Sometimes, too, a tornado might not quite reach the ground, but it might be low enough to rip off the roofs of multi-story structures while leaving ranch homes and strip malls unharmed. Tornadoes can exhibit other erratic behaviors, too, weakening and strengthening as they travel, or circling back on themselves to hit the same location twice. The strength of the buildings, too, matters a great deal, as the developers of the Enhanced Fujita Scale recognized.


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