Davies-Jones, Robert P. National Severe Storms Laboratory, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Research Laboratories, Norman, Oklahoma.
Last reviewed:March 2018
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A violently rotating, tall, narrow column of air (that is, a vortex), typically about 300 ft (100 m) in diameter, that extends to the ground from a cumulonimbus cloud. The vast majority of tornadoes rotate cyclonically (counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere). Of all atmospheric storms, tornadoes are the most violent. See See also: Cloud; Cyclone
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