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Name: Tom
Status: Educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Question is: In the eye of a tornado what is the air pressure, and what is the oxygen percentage?



Replies:
Dear Tom-

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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