Thursday, April 30, 2015

Into the Storm: Storm Chasers, Tornadoes

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives!
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately under ground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom).
I. Work in pairs. Decide whether these places are good shelters in case of tornadoes:
  • A small room, such as a closet or a bathroom, near the center of the home
  • a bathroom under the stairs and centrally located
  • a basement
  • under a heavy bench or a heavy table
  • crawl space if the house is built on concrete block.
  • garage
  • a mobile home

Wrong answers:
  • crawl space if the house is built on concrete block. - the house can pancake on the ground or move as a single unit off the foundation. You can be crushed.
  • garage - garage doors fail easily
  • a mobile home - it can be taken away by the winds with you inside.
II. Choose the correct alternatives:

1. A ________________is a giant whirlpool that covers land. A ____________ is a whirlwind. (HURRICANE/TORNADO)

2. ______________ form over land from
thunderstorms. ______________ form over water and covers all sorts of spinning storms from a standard low pressure system to a ______________. (TORNADOES / CYCLONES / HURRICANE)

3. In themselves nothing, they are both the same thing. The distinction is that _________________ form in the Atlantic, and _________ form in the Pacific Ocean. (HURRICANES / TYPHOONS)

4. ____________ Hurricanes are LARGE scale weather systems that form over warm ocean waters near the equator due to the convergence of several factors, including LOW wind shear, warm ocean water, and the Coriolis force. They are large features that exist over time scales of many hours to days. ___________ form in super cell thunderstorms, which are rotating thunderstorms that form in conditions of HIGH wind shear and large atmospheric instability. They are small features that exist on small time scales of minutes to an hour. (HURRICANES / TORNADOES)

Answer key: The answers are in the correct order.

III. Watch the segment and answer the questions.


1. What were they doing when the tornado hit the city?

2. Were they acting right? Explain it.

3. Is their job important? Why (not)?

4. What are the most common natural disaster where you live? How do you compare it to a tornado?

5. Do you consider yourself lucky or unfortunate, regarding natural disasters in your city?



  1. Dear Claudio,

    This activity is fantastic, congratulations! I intend to use it for the second time, but as the internet connection is not always good where I work I would like to download the video. How can I do that? I usually find the link to do it but I not for this one... If you could help me, I'd appreciate.
    Maria Eduarda

  2. Dear Maria Eduarda,
    You can download the video by clicking on the link at the end of the post. Let me know if you do not manage it.