Tornado and Hurricane webquest

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Severe Weather: Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Thunderstorms and Blizzards
Once you get to this site, click on “Tornadoes”

Step 1: When the number “1” is dark. Read the information about tornadoes in the gray box and answer the following questions. You may have to scroll down to see all of the information.

  1. What is a tornado?

A tornado is a violent rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground.

  1. Which state has the most twisters per year? How many?

Texas has the most twisters per year, at an average of 120 per year .
Step 2: Click on the #2. Read the information in the gray box, and answer the following questions.

  1. What are supercells?

Large thunderstorms that have winds already in motions

  1. Where do most tornadoes in America occur?

Tornado Alley which is from Texas to Nebraska and also includes Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri

  1. Why do most tornadoes occur in the late afternoon?

In the afternoon the sun has heated the ground and the atmosphere enough to produce thunderstorms.
Click on the “next” button to zoom in to see a tornado.

  1. When do tornadoes form?

When warm humid air collides with cold, dry air

  1. What is an updraft?

When warm air rises through colder air

  1. Why would it start to rotate?

It will rotate because of the sharply varying winds

  1. Before the storm turns into a tornado, what type of cloud does it become?

A funnel cloud
Step 3: Click on the #3. Read the information in the gray box, and answer the following questions.

  1. What type of weather accompanies tornadoes?

Thunderstorms, high winds, and hail
Click on “see tornado damage at the bottom of the text.

  1. How does the Fujita scale measure tornado intensity?

The scale measures the damage that was done by the tornado and matches that to estimated wind speed that would create comparable damage.
Move around the Fujita scale to see the effects tornadoes of different intensities have.
Click on the #4 to see a video of a tornado passing.
Click on the #5 to answer the following question. You will have to scroll down to answer the question.

  1. What is the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?

A watch is when the weather conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur. A warning is when a tornado has been sighted or seen on a radar screen.
Click on #6 to make a tornado.
1. What conditions are perfect for making a tornado?
Warm/moist air colliding with cold/dry air, variable winds, and falling pressure


Now, you are moving on to “hurricanes.” Click on the hurricane symbol above the numbers, and begin.

  1. How many mph must winds be going in order for a tropical storm to be a hurricane?

74 mph

  1. Where do hurricanes form?

Over the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific oceans
Where do cyclones form?
The Bay of Bengal and the Northern Indian Ocean
Where do typhoons form?

Western Pacific Ocean
Click on #2, and read the information. Click the “next” button when you are done.

  1. Does the eye of the hurricane have HIGH or LOW pressure?

Low Pressure

  1. Where are the most violent winds in the hurricane?

The Eye Wall
Click on the #3.

  1. In the northern hemisphere, hurricanes always turn how?

Counter Clockwise

  1. In the southern hemisphere, they always turn how?

Play with the image of the hurricane to see a 3-D image.
Click on the #4.

  1. All of the rain from hurricanes can cause what to occur?

Floods, Flash floods, landslides

  1. What is a storm surge?

A rise in the sea level
Click on the #5.

Read the information, and watch the video.

Click on the #6.

  1. What is the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning?

Hurricane watch = there is a threat of a hurricane coming

Hurricane warning = a hurricane is likely to hit in 24 hours
Click on the #7.
Create 5 hurricanes.

  1. Which one creates the most damage? What factors?

Category 5 with warm waters high humidity, from location # 2
2. Which one creates the least damage? What factors?
Category 1 from location # 1 warm water high humidity


Go to

  1. List the 3 ingredients necessary for a thunderstorm.

Moisture, instability in the atmosphere, and a lifting mechanism

  1. Click on “Life cycle of a Thunderstorm”. Take notes on each of the three stages.

  • Towering Cumulus Stage- \

A cumulus cloud begins to grow vertically, perhaps to a height of 20,000 feet (6 km)

  • Mature Cumulus Stage-

The storm has considerable depth, often reaching 40,000 to 60,000 feet (12 to 18 km). Strong updrafts and downdrafts coexist

  • Dissipating Stage

The downdraft cuts off the updraft. The storm no longer has a supply of warm moist air to maintain itself and therefore it dissipates

  1. What are some of the potential hazards of thunderstorms?

hail, damaging winds, and flash flooding may occur.

Go to

  1. How does the National Weather Service define a blizzard?

Large amounts of falling or blowing snow for an extended amount of time (3 hours or more). Winds are greater than 35mph and visibility is less than a ¼ mile.

  1. List some of the dangers of blizzards.

Hazardous driving conditions, windchills that make air feel much colder, frostbite, hypothermia,

  1. What do we call a blizzard that moves up the east coast from the Mid-Atlantic to New England?

A Nor’easter

  1. Scroll down to “Keep Ahead of the Storm”

What does it mean if each of the following is issued:
Winter Storm Watch- Severe winter storm (snow/ice) conditions are possible over the next 2 days

Winter Storm Warning- Severe winter storms have begun or are about to begin in the area.

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