The Tornado- A Complex Weather Phenomenon
Brian Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service-Omaha, NE
The tornado is a dangerous weather bi-product of a thunderstorm. But there are many misconceptions and myths about nature’s most devastating phenomenon. We will explore what is really meant by rating a tornado using the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale. Is an EF 5 tornado mean the entire tornado had EF5 scale winds? We will show that tornadoes are very changeable in structure and can change from a single vortex to a multiple vortex storm in a matter of seconds. We will also explore how a tornado looks visually different from various directions and how this can lead to problems getting people to take cover in a warning. We will use the recent Wayne, Nebraska EF-4 tornado as an example.