When you hear a loud thunderstorm approaching your house, do you worry that a tornado is coming? Your’re not alone. A lot of kids (and adults) are terrified of tornados. One of the best ways to reduce fear of something is to learn more about it, which is why we’ve created this page.

1. What does a real tornado look like? What to see one? Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvoVCBd-BxY&feature=user, and you’ll learn that tornadoes come in all shapes and sizes. If you want to see the kind of damage that a large tornado can do, visit http://www.kansas.com/static/slides/050507tornadoaerials/. Another good place to learn about tornados is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado.



2. Which is more dangerous…a tornado or a car? Visit http://www.outlook.noaa.gov/tornadoes/ and you’ll learn that you should buckle up when you ride in cars. In an average year in the USA, many more people are killed by auto accidents than by tornados. Tornados kill about 80 people per year, compared to 43,000 by car accidents (http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov). One scientist estimates that the chance of your house getting hit by a tornado is 1 in 10 million (http://tinyurl.com/2jhrkd).













3. Can you make a tornado in a bottle? Yes, visit http://www.csiro.au/resources/ps20h.html. Well, it isn’t actually a tornado, but you can replicate the forces that make a tornado, using a two-litre bottle.








4. Can a tornado pick up a car? The wind scale at http://skydiary.com/kids/tornadoes.html shows you that cars are not a good place to hide from a tornado. A weaker F1 tornado can push a car off a road, while an F4 tornado–with winds over 200MPH–can easily roll a car over and turn it into a large missle. According to the Texas Weather Network, the average forward speed of a torando is 30 MPH, but it may vary from stationary to 70 MPH.








5. Should you open all the windows if a tornado is coming? Visit http://www.tornadoproject.com (click on the ‘myths’ link at the bottom of the page).This is one of the many myths about tornados. It is far smarter to close the windows and take cover in a low place. You’ll also learn that tornados can occur anywhere conditions are right–even large cities.










6. What is the difference between a Tornado Warning and a Tornado Watch?

A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar in your area. Head for a basement immediately! A Tornado Watch means that a tornado might come, but none have been sighted. Keep alert by listening to the radio or TV, or check http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/watch/ where you can check current storm alerts.










7.Are there people who make a living chasing tornados? Visit http://www.tornadochaser.net/ or http://www.stormchaser.com/. Believe it or not, some people drive around looking for tornados. They carry portable radar with them, video cameras and sometimes wear helmets, hoping to learn more about tornados. Here’s a YouTube video made by some tornado chasers: http://tinyurl.com/236q81.




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