Twister science

Meteorologists are learning what makes a tornado

By Andrew Bridges, 11:15 AM December 9, 2012

"Tornadoes devastate South, killing at least 251”

What could be more forceful than this real news headline?

The tornadoes that inspired it.

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms, with winds that can exceed 480 kilometers per hour (300 miles per hour). They don’t just toss cars (and sometimes cows). Tragically, tornadoes also kill about 60 people a year in the United States. But that’s just an average. The tornadoes behind the headline were eventually blamed for the deaths of 316 pe...

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