Monday, September 19, 2011

Extreme Weather

Picture courtesy of Storm Chaser, Mike Holingshead

I have been studying weather.
Tornadoes are one of the most dangerous types of weather, so listen for tornado warnings. Tornadoes form from thunderstorm clouds called "super cells." They sound like ten or twenty trains going by all at once! The inside of a tornado is like a huge vacuum cleaner. It sucks up anything that gets in its way.

Hurricanes are another one of the most dangerous types of weather, so again it is important to listen for warnings. Hurricanes are bigger than tornadoes, but the wind speeds are weaker. Hurricanes form over water while tornadoes form over land. 

Picture courtesy of Storm Chaser, Mike Hollingshead
During the spring, lots of thunderstorms happen. With thunder comes lightening. It can brighten the sky, and thunder can make very loud sounds. Lightening can strike people, houses, or even trees. Thanks to Benjamin Franklin, most buildings are safe because he invented the lightening rod. The lightening rod is placed on the top of the house or building, and a wire is attached from the rod to a metal piece on the ground. It leads the electricity to the ground and away from the building. 

Picture courtesy of Storm Chaser, Mike Hollingshead
When there is a lot of rainfall during a storm, it can cause flooding. Again it is important to listen for flash flood warnings and go to higher ground. Some traffic signs will flash a warning saying, "Turn Around--Don't Drown!"

Picture courtesy of Mike Hollingshead
Who puts out these warnings? The National Weather Service. Meteorologists are scientists who work for the weather station and for news stations. They are very important, so people can evacuate and stay safe.

Here is a storm chasing video of a F5 that touched down in Joplin, Missouri. Storm chasers are kind of crazy. It is very dangerous work, and they have lots of weather tools that help them predict where and when a super cell is likely to form a tornado, but people without equipment should not try to be storm chasers because a tornado can change directions and grow very quickly:

If you'd like to see more videos and images by Storm Chaser, Mike Hollingshead, you can visit his web site:  Extreme Instibility