A vortex (pl. vortices) is a spinning, often turbulent, flow of fluid. Any spiral motion with closed streamlines is vortex flow.
The motion of the fluid swirling rapidly around a center is called a vortex. The speed and rate of rotation of the fluid are
greatest at the center, and decrease progressively with distance from the center.
A tornado is a violent, rotating column of air which is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus
cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. Tornadoes come in many sizes but are typically in the form of a
visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris.
Most tornadoes have wind speeds between 40 mph (64 km/h) and 110 mph (177 km/h), are approximately 250 feet (75
m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. Some attain wind speeds of more than 300
mph (480 km/h), stretch more than a mile (1.6 km) across, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100
Although tornadoes have been observed on every continent except Antarctica, most occur in the United States. They
also commonly occur in southern Canada, south-central and eastern Asia, east-central South America, Southern Africa,
northwestern and southeast Europe, western and southeastern Australia, and New Zealand
A tropical cyclone or Hurricane is a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms
that produce strong winds and flooding rain. Tropical cyclones feed on heat released when moist air rises, resulting in
condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air. They are fueled by a different heat mechanism than other cyclonic
windstorms such as nor'easters, European windstorms, and polar lows, leading to their classification as "warm core"
The term "tropical" refers to both the geographic origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively in tropical
regions of the globe, and their formation in Maritime Tropical air masses. The term "cyclone" refers to such storms'
cyclonic nature, with counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern
Hemisphere. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by many other names, such as
hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.
While tropical cyclones can produce extremely powerful winds and torrential rain, they are also able to produce high
waves and damaging storm surge as well as spawning tornadoes. They develop over large bodies of warm water, and
lose their strength if they move over land. This is the reason coastal regions can receive significant damage from a
tropical cyclone, while inland regions are relatively safe from receiving strong winds. Heavy rains, however, can produce
significant flooding inland, and storm surges can produce extensive coastal flooding up to 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the
coastline. Although their effects on human populations can be devastating, tropical cyclones can also relieve drought
conditions. They also carry heat and energy away from the tropics and transport it toward temperate latitudes, which
makes them an important part of the global atmospheric circulation mechanism. As a result, tropical cyclones help to
maintain equilibrium in the Earth's troposphere, and to maintain a relatively stable and warm temperature worldwide.
Many tropical cyclones develop when the atmospheric conditions around a weak disturbance in the atmosphere are
favorable. Others form when other types of cyclones acquire tropical characteristics. Tropical systems are then moved by
steering winds in the troposphere; if the conditions remain favorable, the tropical disturbance intensifies, and can even
develop an eye. On the other end of the spectrum, if the conditions around the system deteriorate or the tropical cyclone
makes landfall, the system weakens and eventually dissipates. It is not possible to artificially induce the dissipation of
these systems with current technology.
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