Tornado in Massachusetts

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Yesterday the city of Springfield Massachusetts was struck by a tornado.  Four persons lost their lives, and damage was substantial.  Videos of the event are dramatic.  Tornadoes are another example of the vagaries of mother nature, along with earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. 

In this video, note the swirling winds, or vorticity that is characteristic of the motions of the air masses.  Tornadoes are produced by a balance of low pressure and centripetal ("centrifugal") accelerations, also called "cyclostrophic balance".  Wind speeds are normally less than 100 mph, but can approach 300 mph in the rope-like core of the largest tornadoes. 

Risk Alert