Connect Yourself Tornados First comes the calm, and then the fury is unleashed. In the center of it all could be a tornado, a natural storm formation that spins at incredible speed and always - like in the movies - seems unstoppable as it approaches.
Tornados are a natural phenomenon that can occur in many parts of the world, and there have been tornado-related catastrophes in Asia and Europe, as well as the Americas. A web site of a British research institute keeps watch over that region, where records of the phenomenon date back to the 11th century.
But the United States is the principal stage for these violent storms. In one year, there may be 1,000 tornados, claiming 80 lives and leaving 1,500 injured, according to the web site of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
A tornado is a column of air that spins at violent speed as a result of the meeting of cold and warm weather fronts. The cone-shaped formation can move at great speeds across the Earth's surface.
There are a series of standards in place to protect the population from tornados, whose intensity is measured on a system known as the Fujita Scale. The United States has an emergency system that activates sirens when a tornado is detected. But sometimes they can spring up without warning.
The dramatic meteorological phenomenon has given rise to movies and there are even some adventuresome tourists who take part in "safaris" to hunt down tornados.
A safer spot to view tornados as in a chair in front of a computer, where you can browse the great number of Internet sites featuring these storms, beginning with those that explain how they come about.
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