A tornado is an atmospheric twister which occurs in the cumulonimbus cloud and reaches the land looking like an enormous column of air which twists with the great speed ruining everything on its way. A tornado differs from other similar natural phenomena (whirlwinds, dust-devils, etc) with the fact that it occurs in a cloud but not under the effect of other phenomena.
Generally, the diameter of a tornado is from 400 to 500 meters, in fact, if the tornado touches the surface of the water, its diameter can be no more than 20 or 30 meters. The phenomenon of a tornado is quite interesting and provokes discussions. The tornado itself moves along with the cloud which has formed it and the speed of its move is about 20 km/h. The speed of the wind inside the tornado can reach 360 m/s. In the Northern Hemisphere the wind whirls counter clockwise, and in the Southern Hemisphere clockwise. In spite of the development of the natural sciences, the origin and the factors which cause tornadoes are not known.
There are several hypotheses concerning the origin of tornadoes and one of them is based on the conflict of the warm and cold air masses. When such masses meet in the atmosphere they start to interact and tornado occurs. It is generally known that tornado is an extremely harmful and dangerous natural phenomenon, because the power of the wind is enough big to destroy buildings, crops and everything what occurs on its way. Tornadoes are quite frequent problems in the US, the mild areas of Europe, Australia and Africa.
Tornadoes are quite frequent natural phenomena which cause damage in the area of their activity. While investigating the problem, the student is supposed to improve his knowledge about tornadoes, the factors, which cause the problem and the effect of the phenomenon on the natural environment and the human settlements. One is able to describe tornadoes from the physical and geographical point of view and present the most common places of their activity. Students can present the effect of tornadoes on the direct examples from the real life demonstrating the harmful speed of the wind and damage caused by it.
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