Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Tornadoes and Flat Land
Name: Joey
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Why do tornadoes usually occur over flat land?


Replies:
Joey,

The weather conditions that are right for thunderstorms to develop usually occur over flat land, particularly in the plains states east of the Rocky Mountains. These conditions include a combination of strong heating of the ground by solar radiation, existence of horizontal and/or vertical wind shear (differences in speed and direction of the wind horizontally or at different altitudes, which can result from a frontal system, jet stream, etc.), horizontal differences in dew point, etc. Tornadoes usually develop from vortices that occur in a thunderstorm. Vortices are normally produced by vertical and/or horizontal wind shear.

David R. Cook
Meteorologist
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory


Click here to return to the Weather Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory