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This review covers thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. It also mentions the Fujita Scale and the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Andrew Dod

on 20 April 2010

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Transcript of Test

Andrew Dod

Twenty -two years' experience creating, authoring and selling stories for technology companies of all sizes. Strategic Plans
Marketing Plans
Communications Plans
Identity Development
Brand Management
Innovation http://ed101.bu.edu/StudentDoc/Archives/ED101fa06/mattwall/Weather%20Pictures/thunderstorm.jpg Scary photo, isn't it?
And to think that storm started with uneven heating of the Earth's atmosphere! The upward movement of warm air, and the downward movement of cool air form convection currents. These currents move heat through the troposphere. But, when two air masses with different temperature, pressure, and humidity conditions meet... Look out!
A large cumulonimbus cloud can form when a cold front violently lifts a warm air mass. Wow! When an area of air is heated through contact with the warm land or water beneath it, it expands, becomes less dense, and rises. As the cooler air sinks, it forms high pressure areas. Where the hot air rises, an area of low pressure is formed. The horizontal movement of air from high to low pressure is called wind. When two air masses that have similar humidity and temperature meet, they mix easily. The convection cells that form when the two different air masses meet are also called storm cells. They are responsible for the formation of thunderstorms. Here's a "think out of the box" question?

Rising warm air fuels a thunderstorm. When does a storm cell begin to "die"? Here are some other thunderstorm questions for you.

What is the scientific name of a thundercloud?
What is the definition of a thunderstorm?
When do most thunderstorms occur and why?
What can a severe thunderstorm produce?
What is a benefit of a thunderstorm? It's time to talk about tornadoes! http://i.treehugger.com/images/2007/10/24/lighting-and-tornado-storm.jpg Tornadoes form from thunderstorms! Tornadoes can also be found with hurricanes! When maritime tropical air meets polar continental air head on, tornadoes are likely to form. The winds of a tornado rotate around a single axis and create a "vortex."

What three things have a role in creating a vortex? One place on earth where these air masses routinely meet is in the center of the U.S.

What is this area called? Can you see the funnel cloud in the next photo? When the funnel cloud drops completely down and touches the ground, it is called a tornado or twister. Tornadoes are measured based on wind speed and the damage they cause.

What is the name of the scale used for categorizing tornadoes?
What is the range of the scale?
Last, but not least, we have hurricanes! Hurricanes are finished, and you are almost finished with the entire Storms review! Just a few more... Hurricanes begin as what?
What is the proper meteorological term for a hurricane?
What is the difference between a hurricane and typhoon?
Who are the hurricane hunters?

A hurricane is a massive rotating storm, with winds spiraling upward and inward.

From space, satellite photos really capture the spiral. The next photo is from 2004. I'd say 2004 was an active hurricane season!

Wouldn't you agree?? Hurricanes gather heat and energy from contact with warm ocean waters. The temperature of those waters needs to be 80 degrees F or warmer. Look at all of the places where hurricanes can form. So where do hurricanes occur in the southern Pacific and Atlantic oceans? Because of the Earth's rotation, the winds of a hurricane spin counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. There are two more conditions necessary for a hurricane to form. The atmosphere (the air) must cool off very quickly the higher you go. Also, the wind must be blowing in the same direction and at the same speed to force air upward from the ocean surface. The Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30, but most hurricanes occur during the fall months. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season is from May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes, just like tornadoes, have a scale that categorizes the severity of the storm. It is called the Saffir-Simpson scale. It is based on four characteristics of the hurricane.

Take a look at the next graphic. Which of the four characteristics is usually the most devastating and dangerous? This is one answer I will give you before the video review.

Storm surges are usually the biggest issue. The strong winds of the hurricane push water into a mound. The mound of water becomes dangerous when the storm makes landfall. Normal sea levels of high tide are exceeded. The piled up water reaches land and floods the coast. A hurricane will cause more storm surge in areas where the ocean floor slopes gradually. This causes major flooding." If you click on the link below, you will see an animation of storm surge.

Up for a few more questions about hurricanes? Good Work!
You've now completed the written portion of the Storms review. To find out if you answered all of the questions in this review correctly, check out the associated video(s) and see what your favorite science teacher has to say! WAIT!!! Almost forgot "watches vs. warnings" A thunderstorm "watch" and "warning" are very similar to a tornado "watch" and "warning." The National Weather Service forecasts that a tornado may develop later.

The sky may be blue at the time you hear the watch. Don't be fooled. Listen to the radio for the latest news. In both cases, a watch means the conditions are right for a storm or tornado to form.
Keep an eye to the sky.
"Watch out!" A "warning", on the other hand, means a thunderstorm or tornado is in your area.
No time now to "keep an eye to the sky".
Take cover! A hurricane "watch" and "warning" are a bit different from the tornado and thunderstorm watch and warning.

Because hurricanes can take days to form, and the path of a hurricane can change at the last minute... HURRICANE WATCH - Hurricane conditions with sustained winds of 74 mph or greater are possible in your area within the next 36 hours.

You should initiate your family's disaster plan. HURRICANE WARNING - Hurricane conditions are expected in your area within 24 hours.

Your family disaster plan should almost be fully implemented. Now is the time to determine the safest place for you and your family to be when the storm hits. You are just about finished with the entire Storms review!
Just a few more questions to "connect" everything together. What are three things that hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms have in common?
What are two major differences between hurricanes and tornadoes/thunderstorms? The winds spin around an "eye." The "eye" is the center of the storm... the center of the vortex. It is the calmest part. It has only light winds and fair weather. Credit: NOAA
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