How Hurricanes Form Tornadoes
Beware of Tornadoes during a Hurricane
Typically, tornadoes and hurricanes are thought of as separate storms, with tornadoes causing images of the flat prairie to come to mind, and hurricanes associated with coastal, warm tropics. Hurricanes are tremendously larger than tornadoes. However, Tornadoes can produce winds that are a lot faster than winds of hurricanes. Some tropical storms and hurricanes, however, can spin up tornadoes, as many have in the past. Just how do tropical storms and hurricanes make tornadoes?
Tropical storms and hurricanes are known collectively as tropical cyclones and have all the ingredients needed for make tornadoes. Most hurricanes can firstly carry with them individual supercells, which are well-organized, rotating thunderstorms. These storms are typically ones that spin up massive twisters in the Plains. Every tornado has to have a storm to form.
Hurricanes secondly bring with them moist, warm air, which acts as the fuel of these storms. These conditions make the atmosphere unstable, with namely a layer of warm air that is less moist and slightly colder than the air above it. All of this contributes to an unstable atmosphere since the warm air wants to rise, as it is not as dense.
Hurricanes finally create a wind shear, which is an abrupt change in the speed of the wind plus the direction of the wind over a short change in height. Rolls form from these alternating winds which are making swirling air. Then these vortices can be flipped vertically, which makes tornadoes, by updrafts from thunderstorms, which are currents of rising air that are warm.
A majority of hurricanes that move inland can cause tornadoes. It is rather uncommon not to have tornadoes with these storms, in fact. Tornadoes form mainly over land instead of water since the land slows down the winds which are at surface level, making, even more, wind shear. Tornadoes form anywhere these supercells that are already there happen to be, but meteorologists are not able to predict yet exactly where the tornadoes strike.
Usually created in the swirling bands of rain that is outside the cyclone, these twisters are found in the front-right quadrant of the storm. If the storm is moving north, in other words, you can likely find tornadoes to the northeast of the eye of the cyclone.
Tornadoes spawned from cyclones are not different fundamentally from other tornadoes which form in the Great Plains area. One difference, however, is that the former are usually less powerful, not exceeding a rating of EF2 for the most part on the Enhanced Fujita scale. Twisters which form in the Plains, secondly, get all of their components from different places. With hurricanes, however, they give all the elements needed for twisters on their own.
If one of these powerful storms has gone through your area, your property has likely sustained storm damage of some kind. Give our trained professionals at SERVPRO of Jacksonville South a call so that we can come out quickly to assess and repair the damages. (904) 762-8066