31 Mar '14, 1pm

The U.S. has more tornadoes than anywhere else on Earth, Why?

A thunderstorm's consumption of warm, moist air leaves behind an extreme low-pressure zone underneath the clouds, creating a vacuum effect that can tug down on the storm's base until a "wall cloud" descends. If the storm is powerful enough and the atmospheric pressure is low enough, the rotating mesocyclone may also extend down a concentrated, supercharged funnel cloud known as a tornado (pictured at right). Tornadoes spin violently as they siphon up any remaining humidity, a last-ditch effort to keep their thunderstorms going — similar to finishing a drink with a straw. When this quest for warm moisture brings the funnel in contact with the ground, it can be devastating for anything or anyone in its way.

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/st...

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