The fifth grade class from Dana L. Lyon Middle School is featured in this week’s Weather Wisdom. Kalysta DeMark from group three asked, “How are hurricanes and tornadoes similar?”
Hurricanes and tornadoes are similar in the fact they are both characterized by extremely strong winds that can cause serious damage. Another similarity to note is hurricanes always spin in a counter-clockwise rotation in the northern hemisphere, which is almost always true for tornadoes, too.
The differences, on the other hand, include their sizes. Hurricanes are a large-scale circulation, while tornadoes are much smaller in size. The largest tornado being close 1-1.5 miles, while hurricanes can be hundreds of miles in diameter. Also, tornadoes most often form from severe thunderstorms. The formation of hurricanes involves warm ocean waters, around 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, which fuels their energy. The life spans between hurricanes and tornadoes are also different. While hurricanes can span over several days, tornadoes usually last no longer than an hour.
Also, something important to note is hurricanes can produce tornadoes at landfall.