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April 23, 2015

T is for Tornado and Tsunami


My theme for my 2015 A to Z Challenge came from my Disaster Crimes series. Disasters are a theme in each story, so it got me thinking about all the disasters that occur from natural disasters to manmade disasters.

Today’s disasters are...
TORNADO and TSUNAMI

A tornado is rotating column of air that extends from a parent cumulonimbus thundercloud and touches the ground. When low pressure at the base warms, moist air from the ground rises and rubs against the cold air, creating the start of a funnel cloud. As air is drawn into the funnel’s center and condenses, it stretches. The moment it touches the ground, it’s no longer a funnel cloud but a tornado. Tornadoes that form over water are known as water vortices or water spouts.

FACT: Places in the West, such as Kansas, have dust devils, which are tornadoes made of dust.


Tornadoes are very dangerous and can cause a lot of damage. The wind can pick up cars and rip off rooftops. Because tornadoes are narrow, one area can be completely destroyed while another area close by can be untouched.

FACT: Tornadoes are usually short-lived, covering about 1-2 miles.

F  Scale:
F0 65-85mph
F1 86-110mph
F2 111-135mph
F3 136-166mph
F4 167-200mph
F5 over 200mph

Tsunamis are massive ocean waves caused by underwater earthquakes. When the seafloor ruptures, water becomes displaced and rises up and out. As the wave travels toward shore, the size increases drastically.

FACT: Tsunamis travel at 310-500mph, and from crest-to-crest its distance is about 125 miles long.

If you’re ever at the beach when a tsunami hits, you’ll likely notice the water draw back much farther than usual as the wave approaches. When the wave gets closer, the water will rush back to shore and rise rapidly while moving inland.

FACT: Tsunamis can lift boats, vehicles, houses, and people.

After about 20 minutes, the water will reverse quickly and strongly, taking debris and people out to sea.

QUESTIONS: Have you ever experienced a tornado? What are your favorite tornado/tsunami movies? I love Twister!



115 comments:

Sarah Foster said...

Tornadoes are pretty rare where I live so I've never seen one in person. Does The Wizard of Oz count as a tornado movie? Because I'm pretty sure it's the only one I've ever seen.
Congrats on the release!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Chrys!
I've lived several places that experienced tornadoes and even saw one when I lived in the Midwest. It was eerie watching it travel across the field.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Yes, I've lived through one two summers ago. They're all over this area! Tornado Alley. Our very dear friends just experienced an F4 two weeks ago (near Dekalb, IL) and it completely destroyed their home--nothing left but the foundation. Praise God no one was home and no one was killed.

Pat Hatt said...

Never would want to go near either of those. I have no need to go to a land with flying monkeys lol

Rhonda Albom said...

I grew up in tornado country, one even tore the roof of my jr. high school (over night). I have never been near a tsunami.

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Ugh, don't remind me. I hate living in a place where tornadoes are a possibility. We have a basement, but it doesn't really make me feel better about it...

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

Annalisa Crawford said...

Both of those are so devastating. I didn't realise just how fast a tornado could travel!

Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

Unknown said...

Yeah...I've had plenty of nightmares starring those two.

Chrys Fey said...

The Wizard of Oz definitely counts. I adore that movie. :)

Thank you, Sarah!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Alex!

A lot of Tornadoes have hit Florida and Central Florida, but I have yet to see one. They scare me so that I hope I never do.

Chrys Fey said...

An F4...yikes. I'm glad your friends weren't home at the time.

Chrys Fey said...

Those flying monkeys scare me! lol

Chrys Fey said...

Wow! Good thing that happened overnight.

Chrys Fey said...

I wish we had a basement, but as you know...Florida homes don't.

Chrys Fey said...

They can travel very fast.

Chrys Fey said...

I've had a lot of nightmares about tornadoes. And the scariest part is, every time I wake up in the morning I find out a tornado hit somewhere in the US while I was asleep.

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I must admit to never having seen a tornado, for which I am grateful :) I'm not a big fan of tornado or tsunami movies, which is odd because I always used to like movies like Earthquake when I was younger :). The only film that comes to mind is The Wizard of Oz - LOL
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys .. both of them worry me - but I think the tsunami would be the worst .. those pictures of Thailand are terrifying - just watching ..cheers Hilary

Jeffrey Scott said...

I'm fascinated by tornadoes. To be honest, I'd love to see a live one as long as I have my camera with me. I'd love to photograph one. Tsunami's however, I can do without and hope I never experience one. Seas and Oceans frighten me. I know dumb.
And yes, I loved the Twister movie. Especially when the cow went flying by. I guess that's what you call fast food?
Wizard of Oz is a great movie with a tornado in it too.

Chrys Fey said...

You're the second to mention that movie. It's a classic!

Chrys Fey said...

I also feel that tsunamis are the more devastating between the two.

Chrys Fey said...

Seas and oceans frighten me too. Probably because I can't swim well. Or maybe it's because we both really did die on the Titanic...

The cow...that scene is epic!

The Wizard of Oz is one of my all-time favorite movies.

nashvillecats2 said...

I wouldn't like to be caught in any one of them two. Why I don't even like thunder storms.
Most impressive post.
Yvonne.

Chrys Fey said...

I don't like thunderstorms either!

Donna Smith said...

Ahhhh!! I have actually been pretty close to a tornado...and thankful to be alive. While home alone in MN one night, a tornado came through about maybe 75 feet from the old stone house we were living in. It struck the new house under construction, which was fully framed in, with roof and shower/tub installed, insulation and windows stacked ready to install. Within a matter of seconds it was all gone, strewn across the valley below, roof some 75 feet to the left of the house I was in. I wish I could have seen it. It must have been spectacular to see the roof lift and land! We started over, moved in and felt pretty secure that there would never be another one there...kind of like in "The World According to Garp" and the airplane in the house!

Stephen Tremp said...

I;m amazed at the power of tsunamis. The filmage from the tsunami that hit Japan a few years ago is fascinating and frightening.

Donna Smith said...

I did not SEE the tornado because it was night AND I was in the basement by then...you know it really does sound like a train is coming and the windows do start to get suctioned outward...

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen a tornado yet. Was in my first tornado warning when hubby and I went to see his parents around Christmas, but nothing touched down. A week after we went home though, one did about 5 miles from their house! I'm still torn between being relieved and disappointed.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

jaybird said...

I liked the movie Twister too, but I am actually really scared of tornados. But it's more likely, since I live so close the ocean, I should be afraid of Tsunamis more.

The thing about tornados that scares me so much is that it can completely wipe out one house and not touch the one right next door. It's creepy how selective it all seems.

Chrys Fey said...

That sounds truly frightening! I'm sorry your new house was destroyed by that tornado. I've never heard a tornado coming in real life, but it sounds terrifying in movies.

Chrys Fey said...

The power is astonishing. Water can do so much more damage when we can imagine.

cleemckenzie said...

I knew you'd have tornado today, but I didn't guess you'd include tsunamis. Both are so powerful and destructive that I'm glad I haven't experienced either first hand. The images you shared tells just how horrible they can be.

Chrys Fey said...

I've been in several tornado warnings. One was supposed to touch down on the very main street I lived on. I was hiding in the closet but had the TV turned up loud to hear what was happening. Nothing happened then, but I was scared.

Chrys Fey said...

So am I. Why I love Twister so much is beyond me.

Chrys Fey said...

You're smart, C Lee. ;)

Donna Smith said...

Yes, it is truly frightening, but it makes an outstanding memory! Ha! The next house we built had a fire that kept us out of it for 11 months living in a motel. Not sure we should ever build again.

Chrys Fey said...

Hopefully you won't have to build again.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Bringing that up again. :) I actually took this fun quiz online that tells you "who" you were on the Titanic. Mine says this:

After saving some money you and your family decide to go on RMS Titanic for a trip of the lifetime! You guys have a beautiful room, although it's not 1st class it is lovely. 4 days later you are sleeping when you feel something eventually you come up to the deck and you realize that they're loading boats. You are one of the last people to make it on a boat. You survived.

D.G. Hudson said...

I've been close to tornadoes, in Daytona, Florida, one summer, and even though the tornado was 50 miles away, it had enough wind power to bring the water to the breakwater's edge, rip doors off hotel doors, and cause other minor damage. Tsunamis scare me as I live on the west coast of Canada, and we have Vancouver to block it somewhat, but it would still cause havoc to other areas in BC. Favourite tornado movie (and tsunami) was 'Day After Tomorrow'. I was getting out of Atlanta Ga. and Hurricane Ivan was heading inland, it was causing planes to be late landing and all kinds of havoc in 2004. It was the movie on the plane. . .

D.G. Hudson said...

Vancouver Island I meant to say would block some of the effect of a tsunami coming from the direction of Asia. . .

J.H. Moncrieff said...

We've had quite a few tornados in our province, but they always die out before reaching the city, thankfully.

I enjoyed Twister too...I'd forgotten all about it.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

We have had a few tornadoes in WV, but they are never overly bad. The worst was a few years ago and we were out of power for a week. That's not too bad considering what people in other places have to deal with.

Stephanie Bird said...

Frightening just to imagine these events/disasters coming my way. I do love that film "Twister" and the "Wizard of Oz" has some of that going on it too, if I'm not mistaken it's a tornado that strikes?

diedre Knight said...

Out west, they call them 'microbursts', though they sometimes seem just as powerful as a minor tornado. We also have 'dust devils' which start on the ground and spiral up. Tsunamis scare the heck out of me with the sheer power. Glad these days, folks can be warned.

Birgit said...

Thankfully I have not been in either. We have had them here in the Niagara region though although it is rare. One time, which, sorry, I thought was funny was a tornado his the Canview drive-in-it took 2 of the screens out. What were they playing at that time? Yup Twister! I like the Wizard of Oz. Twister is just so silly. I remember the Tsunami in 2004. My friend and I were glued to the TV. My friend has been on those same beaches now and he was amazed at how well they have cleaned it up. My favourite film for this is "The Impossible" with Naomi Watts. It is based on a true story and it is brilliant!

Unknown said...

Never been in one, praying to never experience any of them.

S. L. Hennessy said...

But on the plus side, those tornadoes do a great job of getting rid of those pesky wicked witches. Though being near one (I was very close once) not so great.

Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy
http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

Chrys Fey said...

It made sense to bring it up again. lol

Well, there goes my theory. lol But at least you made it on a boat. Good for you! ;)

Chrys Fey said...

You certainly don't have to be close to a tornado to feel it's intensity.

The Day After Tomorrow is one of my favorite disaster movies!

Chrys Fey said...

My family used to watch Twister practically every weekend. We loved it, so I can't possible forgot about it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Out of power for a week? I know how that is...it's not fun.

Chrys Fey said...

The Wizard of Oz is a popular movie mention for this post. Yup, a tornado does strike and lifts Dorothy and the house up into the sky.

Chrys Fey said...

I've heard of the term microbursts on Twister. I thought that term was used for when a place is close to a tornado but not directly hit and the wind damage is caused by microbursts.

Chrys Fey said...

That is pretty funny. You think Twister was a silly movie? I think it's awesome. I haven't seen The Impossible, but I really want to watch it.

Chrys Fey said...

I am praying with you.

Chrys Fey said...

Ha! Good point.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Not really. Traumatic enough to frighten anyone off from water, whether they lived or died. If you ever take the test, let me know the results.
The site was gotoquiz - I searched for "what citizen on the titanic were you".
It would be interesting to find out. LOL
Anyway, sorry for influx of comments again. :/

Tanya Miranda said...

Those Tsunami videos from Japan are incredible. In one town, most of the people evacuated to the mountains by foot as soon as the warnings were made, and others packed belongings into a car and were stuck in traffic going out of the town. The people on the mountain took videos of an entire highway full of cars being swallowed up by the waves. It was horrible. Gives me chills just thinking about it.

CA Heaven said...

Nice Tsunami illustration. It shows very well what happens. Tsunamis are spooky stuff; just couple of inches high on the deep ocean, and growing to maybe 100 feet when hitting the shore >:)

Cold As Heaven


Cold As Heaven

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats on your story release. We had a tornado touch down near our house about three years ago. They are scary.

Cortney Pearson said...

Yay for your short story! It looks awesome. And my favorite tornado movie is the most recent one...the one with the kids doing the documentary on graduation day...gah. Can't remember what it's called...Into the Storm?

Lisa Thomson said...

Yes, I've experienced a tornado. It was an F4. It killed 27 people and caused $328 million in damage. Lucky for me the path of the tornado was about 8 km. east of my house. Your series here inspired me to write a piece about it. I haven't published it yet and not sure if I will but it prompted me to look up the facts of the event. It sparked an interesting hindsight aha moment for me thinking back on that day.

Tsunamis scare the s**t out of me! The movie about the 2004 Thailand tsunami was very well done.

Mary Kirkland said...

I am quite thankful that I live in Las Vegas because we just don't get a lot of crazy weather like this. We get the occassional flash flood but that's about it.

Tamara Narayan said...

I loved Twister as well. I think I saw it three times when it was in the theaters. I often have nightmares about twisters even though I don't live in a place that typically would have one. When I lived in SC a twister passed through a town about twenty minutes from where I lived.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Living in Tornado Alley, I'm well acquainted with tornadoes. In 1979 three tornadoes merged at the edge of Wichita Falls and wiped out a huge section of the town. It swept on through and up into Oklahoma, leaving flattened homes and businesses behind. In 1964, a tornado destroyed homes on the next block from where we lived. Both times our home was spared. They're something one never forgets.

Nick Wilford said...

I hope never to be at the beach when a tsunami hits! Thanks for the explanation of a tornado, which I hadn't realised how it works. I'm very lucky to live in a place which doesn't really see major disasters. In Brighton where I grew up, they still talk about the 1987 hurricane which was small fry compared to most tornadoes!

Chrys Fey said...

Being stuck in traffic when a tsunami hits would be horrible.

Chrys Fey said...

They are spooky. That's just how I feel about them too.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Susan!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Cortney! :)

I haven't seen Into the Storm yet. Looks good, though.

Chrys Fey said...

Yikes! F4 tornadoes are mighty powerful and very frightening. You are lucky that you weren't directly hit, but close enough to experience the fear and damage.

I'm glad I could inspire you, Lisa! I would love to read that. :)

Tsunamis scare me too. And I'm writing about one... ;)

Chrys Fey said...

You're very fortunate, Mary.

Chrys Fey said...

I mentioned this in another comment, but I have a lot of nightmares about tornadoes too. And I often find out that when I do, a tornado hit somewhere in the US that same night.

Chrys Fey said...

The fact that they can merge to create one giant tornado is a scary thought. I'm glad your homes were spared, but sad for those who lost their homes.

Chrys Fey said...

I hope the same because there's nowhere to go and nothing you can do. You're fortunate to live in a place like Brighton.

Chrys Fey said...

I found the quiz and got 2nd Class Citizen who lived, like you did, *High Five*

No apologies. Our Titanic talk is fun. :)

betty said...

I like Twister too! Honestly, tornadoes scare me. When we think about places to live or move to, if it is in a place that gets lots of them, that is usually not on my list. Rather deal with earthquakes :)

betty

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I've neither experienced a tornado nor tsunami, but only in dreams. The tornadoes always want to get me. Scary.

Elizabeth Mueller
AtoZ 2015
My Little Pony

Cherdo said...

Tornadoes are crazy scary, but I've been exposed to so many false warnings that I fear I won't duck and cover when necessary.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

I remember reading and watching video on that horrible Christmas Day Philipean Tsunami... a few years back. It was awful.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm thankful I've never experienced either, although I once saw a water spout.

Chrys Fey said...

I think I'd rather deal with earthquakes too because tornadoes happen way too often.

J E Oneil said...

I've never seen a tornado myself, but there's been one or two in the area during really bad storms. I think a tsunami would be way scarier. Water always outranks air in terms of deadliness.

Chrys Fey said...

Tornadoes always want to get me in my dreams too. A lot of commenters have mentioned the same thing.

Chrys Fey said...

There's a lot of false warnings here in Central Florida too.

Chrys Fey said...

It sure was awful and to happen on Christmas day too.

Chrys Fey said...

Seeing a water spout would be pretty cool.

Chrys Fey said...

I share your sentiments on tsunamis being scarier.

Shell Flower said...

You've got some great choices for T today. I grew up in the Midwest, so tornadoes are something I've been around, but they are so concentrated that they seem less damaging than tsunamis, though more frequent. The movie The Impossible is an excellent, though really intense, tsunami movie. If you haven't seen it, you totally should.

Sunni said...

Both of these can be devastating. You have more warning with a tsunami. I would not want to live in tornado country. Just driving under some funnel clouds in north TX scared me to death. It was very creepy to see those black things hanging in the sky.

Sunni

http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I've never been in a tornado, although lately there have been a few tornado warnings and watches. And a sharknado is my favorite kind of tornado. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks! I haven't seen it yet but it's been on my MUST WATCH list. I need to find it ASAP.

Chrys Fey said...

A tsunami can be seen coming and there is more of a time for people to prepare and get to safety.

Driving under funnel clouds would scare me too!

Chrys Fey said...

Sharknado. Haha! I haven't seen that movie yet.

Unknown said...

Tornadoes seem very dangerous. No doubt every disaster is pretty fatal but these look like a lot more dangerous. Tsunamis have become a serious threat ever since the last few major ones. Unfortunately I haven't seen any movies dealing in these disasters. :( Thanks for sharing !

sage said...

You should change your name to Disaster Chyrs! :)

I used to have nightmares about the Wizard of Oz tornado, but as an adult I have always wanted to see one! Dust Devils are similar to a tornado in that you have wind in rotation, but it isn't anything nearly as severe and I have had a dust devil go "through" my car while out in Utah and have seen plenty of them. I have also seen on waterspout which was pretty cool (but no tornadoes, to date)

Liz A. said...

I've never seen Twister. Not sure why. Not much of a disaster movie goer, so I can't say I've seen a tornado or tsunami movie.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm so glad I don't live anywhere near Tornado Alley. I'd hate to live in a place prone to natural disasters like that. My ex, of course, get scared over tornado watches, even if the only "tornados" we get in Upstate NY are strong winds and weird clouds.

Sophie Duncan said...

We only get mini tornadoes in the UK, but they have removed the occasional roof. I've only seen the really big ones on TV and they look scary.
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
FB3X
Wittegen Press

J.L. Campbell said...

Just reading about these gives me a chill.

Chrys Fey said...

You're right about all being pretty fatal and I agree that these too do look the most deadly.

Chrys Fey said...

Disaster Chrys...I like it. ;)

A dust devil went through your car? Wow! That must've been a strange, scary, and exciting experience. I've always wanted to see a water spout.

Chrys Fey said...

Disaster movies are my favorite! :D

Chrys Fey said...

I only get scared if there's a tornado warning. A watch is just...a watch. lol

Chrys Fey said...

I would never want to face a really big tornado.

Chrys Fey said...

Me too. And I wrote this! :P

Birgit said...

Yup but I am a picky film nut:)

Lidy said...

I admit that I've never seen Twister from the beginning to the end. But what will always boggle my mind about those type of movies are the storm chasers. Now that is one job I'll never take up, no matter how good the pay is. If you haven't already, you should watch "Into the Storm." It's another good tornado movie that came out last year.

Chrys Fey said...

Those storm chasers are fearless. I haven't seen Into the Storm, but I want to. :)

Anonymous said...

We get many tornado watches, but every now and then, we actually get one. We could hear the last one.

Chrys Fey said...

I would not want to hear one.

Jo said...

Thank goodness we don't have too many tornados in Canada, but we do get them now and again. Luckily we are too far from the sea to worry about tsunamis. I watched film of one on TV. There were idiots standing quite close to the water.

Chrys Fey said...

That's good. Canada does seem to have calmer weather. Well other than snow and blizzards.

Michelle Wallace said...

Congrats on the release, Chrys! You are ROCKING! Woo-hoo!

I've never experienced a tornado/tsunami or any natural disaster close to that level of devastation. It must be terrifying!
Tornado was also my T-post, but it was purely imagination and things I've seen on TV.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Michelle! :D

I'm heading over to your post right now. :)