Question is: In the eye of a tornado what is the air
pressure, and what is the
Making any sort of measurements inside a tornado is extremely difficult, and
no direct measurement of air pressure at the center of a tornado has been
accomplished. Due to the violent nature of the winds, most measuring
instruments struck by tornadoes are destroyed or badly damaged.
With Doppler radar we can indirectly determine a theoretical pressure inside
a tornado, by measuring the windspeeds in the funnel, and calculating a
center pressure. The pressure will vary, depending on the severity of the
tornado, but pressure differentials of more than 100 millibars are likely in
the strongest tornadoes.
The gaseous composition of the air inside the tornado is no different than
that of the air outside the tornado. So the amount of oxygen should be the
same as in the rest of the atmosphere.
Wendell Bechtold, meteorologist
Forecaster, National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office, St. Louis, MO.
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Update: June 2012