Shop Windows to the Universe

Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.


The majority of tornadoes occur in agricultural areas. Tornadoes need moisture to feed their parent thunderstorms and the instability associated with spring and summer warming. Crops need moisture to grow and the temperature variation associated with changing seasons. Both conditions for tornadoes and agricultural growth are found in the same areas, as is shown on this map. (Courtesy of Dr. T. T. Fujita, University of Chicago)

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Cool It! is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more

Wave Beats

Sound travels in waves. These waves have both a frequency and an amplitude. The frequency is measured in hertz, which is one wave cycle per second. A cycle is a repeated pattern of positive and negative...more

Chasing Tornadoes

Storms chasers are different than storm spotters. Chasers travel around Tornado Alley looking for severe storms and tornadoes. This area in the Great Plains is the best for chasing. Besides having a lot...more

Energy Density

A tornado is the most destructive force in nature; that doesn't mean it has the most energy. Thunderstorms which produce tornadoes can have 40,000 times as much energy as a tornado! Tornadoes are so destructive...more

The Doppler Effect

The Doppler effect was named after Christian Doppler, who first came up with the idea in 1842. He determined that the frequency of sound waves would change if either the source of the sound or the observer...more

Tornado Forecasts

The short duration and complicated nature of tornadoes make them nearly impossible forecast. Meteorologists don't really know the specifics of how they form, but they do know what atmospheric conditions...more

Common Tornado Myths

Scientists once thought that you should open your windows during a tornado so your house won't explode. The thinking behind this idea is that the extreme low pressure in a tornado would cause the air in...more

Tornado Notification

Tornadoes are very destructive, so it's important to know when one may form so you can take shelter. Forecastors at the National Weather Service are always on the lookout for developing storms. Even though...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA