When Hurricane Harvey swept through our areas with high winds and extreme amounts of rainfall, many of us just waited until it was over. However, the devastation continued with continued tornado warnings and watches for more than a day after each storm surge.
Tornadoes often accompany hurricanes that hit land over long periods of time. Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida are examples of this type of hurricane. Tornadoes are created by opposite directional winds. Cold air drops, warm air rises, and they form a spiral.
Tropical storms such as hurricanes create unstable vertical and horizontal winds. As the wind direction changes and hits the upward force, a small storm cell is created. These storm cells don’t usually have lightning or thunder contained within them, so they slip under the radar. As a result, they can be dangerous as they quickly transition from strong winds to a tornado as they hit land’s wind resistance.
Tornadoes may have higher wind speeds than hurricanes, but their time of impact is shorter. About 100 tornadoes drop on the United States each year.
Be careful if heavy winds and rains persist, and be sure to tune in to your local weather station and check social media for updates.