Isolated Tornado: What Is It?

Meteorologists use the term “isolated tornado” to alert the public that tornadoes are probable with oncoming storms. Forecasters do not expect a broad breakout of tornadoes when this term is employed. When isolated tornadoes are mentioned, a tornado watch may or may not be issued.

Even when the weather conditions are not conducive to tornado production, any strong storm can produce a tornado without warning. When severe weather is forecast, meteorologists will occasionally discuss the likelihood of an isolated tornado to keep the public safe from rapidly shifting conditions.

A tornado is a fiercely rotating column of air that is considered the most damaging localised weather phenomena, with winds sometimes exceeding 300 mph. The majority of tornadoes occur inside spinning supercell storms, which are strong storms with hail, tremendous winds, and heavy rain.

Because of the numerous tornadoes that occur in this area, a section of the Midwest in the United States is known as “Tornado Alley.” Tornadoes can strike at any time of the year, although the peak season in North America is in May. Tornadoes are more common in storm systems that are more powerful and complicated.

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Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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