Tags: Disaster Planning | tornado cloud | spot | threatening | skies

Tornado Clouds: How to Spot Threatening Skies

By    |   Friday, 01 Jul 2016 06:26 PM

A tornado cloud could appear when skies look threatening, turning dark, gloomy, or blackish green.

Tornadoes might develop from these conditions or during hurricanes, heavy storms, and hail storms.

Here are a few tips to know how to spot a developing tornado cloud.

A funnel-shaped cloud suggests a tornado, but sometimes these clouds are not tornadoes, according to The Weather Channel.

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A tornado might begin as a funnel cloud, but it doesn’t become a tornado until the funnel connects with the ground in a column. A funnel cloud needs to be watched carefully because it becomes a tornado when reaching the ground.

The funnel cloud must also be spinning or rotating to be classified as a tornado. A tornado cloud spins because it is a rotating column of air that makes contact with the ground in a continued column that can cause severe damage to nature and structures.

A tornado’s funnel is formed from water droplets, debris, and dust, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

However, there are clouds that only look like possible tornadoes; it's important to know how they differ from tornado clouds.

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A cumulonimbus cloud may look dark and ominous, but it is not a tornado. It may look similar to a cauliflower with vertical growth, AccuWeather notes. It can produce heavy rain, strong winds, and lightning.

A scud cloud may also look like a tornado cloud. It forms vertically below a cumulonimbus cloud, but does not rotate.

A shelf cloud appears as if it has shelves or tiers. Although it doesn’t necessarily indicate a tornado, it warns that strong winds are occurring.

Wall clouds that rotate, however, may signal a tornado could form and touch down on the ground. A wall cloud is formed during a thunderstorm from rapidly rising air and low pressure. The dark cloud can spread up to five miles in diameter.

Anvil clouds, which form a flat top of a thunderstorm, and mammatus clouds, look round and smooth, but are not tornado clouds; they can be dangerous, however. Anvil clouds can be accompanied by lightning. Mammatus clouds may appear under anvil clouds and signal severe thunderstorms.

AccuWeather says mammatus clouds are the rare clouds that form in sinking air, rather than rising air.

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A tornado cloud could appear when skies look threatening, turning dark, gloomy, or blackish green. Tornadoes might develop from these conditions or during hurricanes, heavy storms, and hail storms. Here are a few tips to know how to spot a developing tornado cloud.
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2016-26-01
Friday, 01 Jul 2016 06:26 PM
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