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Recently, a deadly tornado struck the Mainaguri area of Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal for 10 minutes and killed five people and injured over a 100.

About Tornado

  • It is a land-based vertical column of violently rotating air that forms from a thunderstorm to the ground. It can have wind speeds in the range of 105-322 kilometres per hour.
  • The rotating column is physically connected to the cloud base or wall cloud and is often visible as a cloud-filled "condensation funnel". If the air is dry enough, the tornado may only appear as a swirl of dirt on the ground without a visible connection to the cloud above.
  • The tornado over the sea is called waterspouts.
  • Formation: Any collision of warm, moist air with dry, cool air in the presence of a low pressure system like a trough causes thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Geographical distribution:

  • It occurs most commonly on continents in the mid-latitudes (between 20 and 60 degrees north and south), where they are frequently associated with thunderstorms that develop in regions where cold polar air meets warm tropical air.
  • Tornadoes are the most common in the United States, Argentina and Bangladesh.

The Enhanced Fujita scale is used to measure tornado strength. It is used to assign a tornado a 'rating' based on estimated wind speeds and related damage.

Q1:What is Thunderstorm?

It is a violent short-lived weather disturbance that is almost always associated with lightning, thunder, dense clouds, heavy rain or hail, and strong gusty winds.

Source: Jalpaiguri disaster: Tornadoes a symptom of warming & anomalous wind patterns