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Extreme Weather

Tornadoes

How do they form?

What do they look like?

Where do they occur?

How are they measured?

How to prepare?

See one in action!

Blizzard

How do they form?

What do they look like?

Where do they occur?

How are they measured?

How to prepare?

See one in action!

Floods

How do they form?

What do they look like?

Where do they occur?

How are they measured?

How to prepare?

See one in action!

Droughts

How do they form?

What do they look like?

Where do they occur?

How are they measured?

How to prepare?

See one in action!

Heatwaves

How do they form?

What do they look like?

Where do they occur?

How are they measured?

How to prepare?

See one in action!

Hurricanes

How do they form?

What do they look like?

Where do they occur?

How are they measured?

How to prepare?

See one in action!

Droughts can form through a combination of meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural factors. Some common mechanisms leading to drought include: Lack of Precipitation: Extended periods of below-average rainfall can deplete water sources, impacting agriculture, ecosystems, and water supplies. High Temperatures: Elevated temperatures can increase evaporation rates, leading to the drying of soil and water bodies. Wind Patterns: Shifts in wind patterns can result in decreased moisture transport to a region, exacerbating dry conditions. Soil Moisture Depletion: Prolonged dry spells can lead to reduced soil moisture, affecting crop growth and water availability.

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air. Some tornadoes are very large in diameter (spanning up to 2 miles across), while other tornadoes can be relatively small (spanning 250 ft / 75 m across). They form as a thunderstorm experiences a particular combination of winds.

Tornadoes need 2 things to form: 1. Warm humid air that collides with dry cool air 2. Spinning air current (starts out horizontal and is pushed vertical)

A hurricane is a large swirling storm that forms over warm ocean water. Hurricanes are classified as having wind speeds over 74 mph (weaker wind speeds are called tropical storms). Since they are fueled by this warm water, they weaken and eventually dissipate as they move onto land.

Hurricanes need 3 things to form: 1. Warm ocean water (hurricanes occur in the summer months) 2. Moist humid air 2. Swirling winds (due to the Coriolis effect, hurricanes rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere).

Tornadoes are measured on the Fujita scale, named after its creator Thetsuya (Ted) Fujita. The scale ranges from 0-5 and is based on tornado wind speed.

Blizzards have no formal scale. They are compared using the depth of snow, tempertures and number of days

To prepare for a blizzard... Stock up on food and supplies in case you are snowed-in and can't leave the house. Prepare your vehicle (full tank of gas, snow tires/chains) Have an emergency power supply (generator) in case you lose heat and power. During a blizzard.... Avoid driving your car. With low visibility, car accidents become common. Roads can become blocked by snowdrifts. Avoid going outside. Low temperatures can cause risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

A blizzard is a snow storm that is characterized by low temperatures, wind speeds greater than 56 km/hr (25 mph) and visibility less than 0.4 km / 0.25 mi for a minimum of 3 hours.

A blizzard needs 3 things to form: 1. Cold (below freezing) air to make snow 2. Moisture to form clouds and precipitation 3. A cold front that pushes warm moist air above a cold air mass Unlike most other weather-related disasters, blizzards occur in the winter.

To prepare for a tornado... Have an emergency supply of food, water, and first aid materials Pay attention to weather reports Charge your devices and have a supply of batteries During a tornado.... Watch the news/radio and be aware of your community's warning system Move to a safe shelter (storm shelter, basement, or at the very least a windowless room) If you don't have access to a safe shelter then cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with blankets or other available materials. Stay away from any power lines

Heatwaves form when a high-pressure system stalls over a region, leading to the accumulation of hot air. This stagnant air mass prevents the dispersion of heat, resulting in prolonged periods of high temperatures. Additionally, factors such as clear skies and dry conditions can contribute to the intensification of heatwaves. The combination of these atmospheric conditions leads to the extended duration of exceptionally hot weather, often resulting in heat-related health risks and stress on infrastructure and resources.

Blizzards occur most often in the upper midwest, but can occur in almost all of the United States except the California and Gulf coasts.

Tornadoes in the United States most often occur in "Tornado Alley." Tornadoes occur here most often during the summer months, peaking during May and June.

Why this location? Remember, tornadoes form when warm humid air meets cold dry air. Warm humid air comes up from the Gulf of Mexico, while cold dry air comes down from Canada and the northern United States. This leaves the middle of the United States vulnerable to tornadoes.

Floods can form in various ways, but the most common causes include heavy rainfall, melting snow, ice jams, storm surges, dam failures, and rapid ice melts. When the amount of water exceeds the capacity of the land to absorb it, flooding can occur. Additionally, factors such as topography, soil type, and land use can contribute to the severity of flooding in a particular area.

Hurricanes occur in all oceans near the equator. They have different names based on where they originated: Storms around the United States are called hurricanes. Storms in the Indian ocean are called cyclones. Storms in the western Pacific ocean are called typhoons.

The areal view of a hurricane looks like a circular storm.

If you were experiencing a hurricane, you would see high winds and flooding.

To prepare for a hurricane.... Have emergency supplies at your house (food, water, emergency power source) Charge your devices and have a supply of batteries Create a family disaster plan Fill your car with gas in case of evacuation Cover windows and doors Clear your yard During a hurricane.... Stay inside, especially away from windows Listen to the radio/news for updates and prepare to evacuate if necessary Don't forget about your pets!

Hurricanes are measured on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which is based on wind speed. The scale ranges from 1-5.

Floods can happen anywhere there is water, dry soil and a lot of rain.

Floods have no formal measuerment system but we will measure the depth and distance the water covers

To prepare for the flood...Watch weather reports and keep track of the stormKeep a portable source of first aid supplies, clean water and foodWaterproof your home with sand bags, boarding windows and lifting electronics/other appliencesDuring the flood...Evacuate the areaAvoid moving through flood waterIf trapped by flood water, seek higher ground. Wave objects to get the attention of rescue teams

Heatwaves are hard to see in photos since things will look the same but be much hotter.

There is no formal scale to measure heatwaves but organizations use a combination of temperture and humidity to release safety warnings.

Droughts are measured using the Palmer Drought Severity Index

Droughts can happen anywhere in the world and the risk of drought or the existance of drought must be reevaluated every few years.

Heatwaves can occur anywhere and there is limited ablity to predict where they will occur. Large cities are most at risk for heat waaves do to the "heat island" effect.

Before the drought...Conserve waterIncrease drought-resistant landscapingIncrease water storageDuring a drought...Conserve water

How to prepare for drought...Conserve waterIncrease drought-resistant landscapingIncrease water storageDuring the drought...Conserve water

Before a heatwave...Stay informedCreate a plan to stay coolStock up on waterLearn how to recognize heat related illnessDuring a heatwave...Stay cool and hydratedAvoid outdoor activitiesCheck on vaulnerable people (elderly and children)