Posts Tagged ‘tornado’

Earth-Sized Tornado on the Surface of the Sun (VIDEO)

February 21, 2012 Comments off

In early February, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured footage of whirling tornado-like storm on the surface of the sun. This enormous mass of plasma raged for over a day and was estimated to be larger than the Earth. Of course, it’s not a tornado in the same way that we understand them here on Earth. It’s obviously way bigger, way more terrifying, and way weirder.

While terrestrial tornadoes are the result of competing pressure fronts and the cooling of air, events on the sun are governed by gravity and magnetism. “The particles are being pulled this way and that by competing magnetic forces,” writes NASA on the SDO website. “They are tracking along strands of magnetic field lines.”

The particles of plasma in the storm are relatively cooler, a mere 15,000 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the 2 million degree sun. This makes the solar prominence, which is what the “tornado” is classified as, appear darker than the bright background. The pull between those competing magnetic forces whip the

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Amazing waterspout ‘tornado’ caught on camera off Australia

May 30, 2011 Comments off


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Joplin, Mo., tornado witness: ‘Swath cut through town is huge’

May 23, 2011 Comments off



Emergency personnel walk through a neighborhood severely damaged by a tornado near the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo. (Mark Schiefelbein / Associated Press / May 22, 2011)

In the moments between the first and second tornado sirens that sounded the warning in Joplin, Mo., on Sunday evening, Sara Ferguson knelt in prayer inside a church classroom.

The congregation of Citywide Christian Fellowship Church had been in the middle of services when a few parishioners who’d been keeping watch on the darkening skies outside came back to say it was time to seek safety.

“There was a bit of hail and it was raining terrible,” said Ferguson, 50, who was reached by phone. “We’re up on a hill and the men who stayed at the door watched the tornado pass by a few blocks from us.”

Once it was over, she and her husband made their way to their home, passing a scene of unfathomable destruction. A trip that typically takes 10 minutes lasted an hour and a half.

“I cried the whole way,” she said.

They dodged downed power lines. They passed St. John’s Regional Medical Center, where it “looked like bomb Read more…

Categories: tornado Tags: , ,

Deadliest tornado days in U.S. history

May 3, 2011 Comments off


PRATT CITY, Ala., May 1 (Reuters) – Federal officials vowed urgent support on Sunday for a region devastated by the deadliest U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina, even as they acknowledged recovery would not be quick or easy.

President Barack Obama’s administration is trying to show an effective response to the storms and twisters that killed about 350 people last week in seven southern states, reduced neighborhoods to rubble and caused damage expected to run into billions of dollars.

Obama visited Alabama on Friday and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Craig Fugate, toured damage on Sunday.

“I don’t think words can fairly express the level of devastation here. I am not articulate enough,” Napolitano said after seeing how killer storm winds had torn through Pratt City, Alabama.

Later in Smithville, Mississippi, Napolitano said the visit had offered an acute sense of urgency about the need to help Read more…