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Picture of a May 11, 1991, tornado in Cimarron County, Oklahoma
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Greg Stumpf

Tornadoes

Tornadoes form from severe thunderstorms. They are very destructive because they have a high energy density. They also don't last very long. This makes it hard to learn about them. Since scientists don't know much about tornadoes, it's also hard to forecast them. And because little is known about tornadoes, there are many myths about them which aren't true.

Tornadoes can form anywhere in the world. About 75% of the them happen in the United States. Most of these form in the central U. S. in a place called tornado alley. There are also some other interesting facts about tornadoes.

People who are interested in tornadoes sometimes become trained tornado spotters for their community. Others chase tornadoes, either to research these incredible storms, or to photograph them. After a tornado passes by, scientists try and figure out how strong it was by using the Enhanced Fujita Tornado Scale.
Last modified August 1, 2008 by Vanessa Pearce.

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