As seasons change and atmospheric temperatures shift, large currents of warm air collide with currents of cold air, and the mix of these currents produce large thunderstorms. Given the right conditions, some thunderstorms can produce tornadoes, whirling columns of air that spin up to 500 kilometers (300 miles) per hour. Small tornadoes can snap trees and spread debris wherever they go, and some bigger tornadoes can generate enough destructive power to wipe out houses, neighborhoods, and even whole towns in just a few minutes. While tornadoes occur around the globe, regions with wide open spaces, particularly those that have a flat landscape, are more prone to tornadoes than hilly or mountainous regions.
Learn more about tornadoes and their impact on the environment and human communities with this collection of resources.
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Meteorology, Earth Science