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How do tornadoes form? - James Spann

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Tornadoes are the most violent storms on Earth, with wind velocities that can exceed 200 miles per hour. How do these terrifying cyclones form? Meteorologist James Spann sheds light on the lifespan of tornadoes as they go from supercell thunderstorms to terrible twisters before eventually dissolving back into thin air.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator James Spann
  • Director Iuri Araújo, Guilherme Araújo
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Narrator James Spann

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has an awesome review of many different types of severe weather from its National Severe Storms Laboratory. Visit the site and learn more about all the types of extreme weather and more about tornadoes. What kind of severe weather are you most interested in? Have you ever experienced any yourself?

Want to know the likelihood of a storm occurring today? NOAA also has a Storm Prediction Center that will give you up to date information.

Don’t know the difference between a weather watch and a weather warning? Go here to find out.Click on their OUTREACH tab at the top to learn more about tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods and lightning.

Want to become a severe weather spotter yourself? Take the SKYWARN Spotter Training class and possibly get involved with assisting the National Weather Service! This could be a great opportunity to take your weather watching to a higher level!

Watch Tornadoes 101 to see footage of how a tornado forms, where they are most common, and the weather that occurs with them.Check out the interactive Forces of Nature link to learn more about tornadoes and other “forces of nature.”

For a documentary on Tornadoes watch Deadliest Tornadoes by NOVA.

Atmospheric scientist Karen Kosiba studies how tornadoes form and do damage. Getting measurements near the surface of these twisters is difficult, though, and driving into them is a practice mostly reserved for the big screen. In this TEDYouth Talk, Kosiba describes how she and her team use observations and modeling to track these super storms, while sharing some incredible footage from the field.
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TED-Ed
Lesson Creator
New York, NY
Despite excellent early warnings for most tornadoes, we still have loss of life every year in the United States.
07/14/2014 • 
 6 Responses
 / 6 Updates

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator James Spann
  • Director Iuri Araújo, Guilherme Araújo
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Narrator James Spann

Share

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