Tornado

This essay has a total of 629 words and 3 pages.


tornado





When a tornado forms or passes over a water surface, it is termed a waterspout. Like
tornadoes, they may assume many shapes and often occur in series or families. Measurements
of their forward speeds are scarce, but estimates vary from a few kilometers an hour to as
high as 64 to 80 kilometers per hour. Contrary to popular opinion, a waterspout does not
"suck up" water to great heights; though it may lift the water level a few meters. The
main visible cloud consists mostly of freshwater clouds produced by condensation of water
vapor; however, a sheath of spray often rotates around the lower portion of the vortex
tube. Thousands of vacationers and several scientists witnessed one of the largest and
most famous waterspouts, observed near Massachusetts on Aug. 19, 1896. Its height was
estimated to be 1,095 meters and its width 256 meters at the crest, 43 meters at center,
and 73 meters at the base. The spray surrounding the vortex tube near the water surface
was about 200 meters wide and 120 meters high. The spout lasted 35 minutes, disappearing
and reappearing three times. Most waterspouts are smaller, with much shorter lives. This
exceptional spout is an example of one that apparently was spawned by thunderstorm-squall
conditions, similar to those that produce tornadoes over land. There are few authentic
cases of large ships ever being destroyed by a spout, although spouts are a dangerous
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