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What Causes a Tornado to Form - Tornado Information for Kids

What is a tornado?

The weather can sometimes be very dangerous.
Violent storms can create fierce, twisting winds that seriously damage anything that gets in their way.
A tornado is a powerful, twisting windstorm. 

What Causes a Tornado to Form?

Most tornadoes develop along a boundary, called a front, where cool, dry air meets warm, humid air.
Large thunderclouds appear, thunder begins to rumble, and a nearby cloud becomes dark and dense.
If the warm air rises very quickly, more warm air rushes in to replace it.
As this air rises, it sometimes starts to rotate.
The rotating air forms a tornado, or twister, which is shaped like a long, thin funnel stretching down from the cloud towards the ground.
If this funnel meets the ground, it sucks things up like an enormous vacuum cleaner, making a swirling mass of dust and dirt, destroying almost everything in its path.
Tornadoes sometimes make houses explode!
When the tornado sucks up air from around the outside of the house, it makes the air pressure outside lower than the air pressure inside.
The greater force of the air inside pushes the walls apart and the house explodes!

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