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Tornadoes are Water? Who knew?

Tornadoes are Water? Who knew?
Photo: Mike Hollingshead

I have had a life-long fascination with tornadoes. Forgetting for a moment the absolutely devastating effect they have on life, limb and property, I think they are amaaaaazing. Just recently I tried my second ditch attempt with loved ones about my burial service and what I’d like. It bombed almost as badly as the first ditch attempt.

In a previous blog about dams, I mentioned 007.  It is precisely because of one of his movies that my aversion for cremation set me on the alternative path of how my earthly remains are to be disposed of. Don’t blame me, blame 007!

The first idea involved a leaky wooden boat, bows and arrows, a beach, sea and fire. The second idea is some brave person travels with me to Kansas in tornado season; drives me as close as dammit to a raging tornado and leaves me there. This will then fulfil my dream (hopefully) of me finally being able to see the inside of the funnel. I would imagine that if I am in the correct path and I am swept up, I’ll probably only have seconds (if that) to have a look see – after that I’ll be toast.

Anyhow, as it happens no-one I know is too keen on this idea either. Perhaps I can speak nicely to the storm chasers when the time comes.

What are tornadoes you ask?

Tornadoes are rotating columns of air formed in intense thunderstorms. If the vortex extends from the cloud all the way to the ground, then it’s officially a tornado. The funnel cloud is an actual cloud; the low pressure causes the air to expand and cool below the dew point. However, a tornado can exist without a funnel cloud; if the air is dry enough, the only visible sign of a tornado might be a small dimple in the base of the parent cloud. The lower part of a tornado funnel can also consist of dust and debris blown up from the ground.

The dew point in case you were wondering is the temperature below which the water vapour in air at constant barometric pressure condenses into liquid water at the same rate at which it evaporates. The condensed water is called dew when it forms on a solid surface. Now you know.

To think that little ol’ innocent dew could be responsible for such wracking ruin is quite something.

So as if it’s not bad enough to be rejected outright by the loved ones, I was told at the office that no-one’s prepared to participate in my storm chasing demise.

But then, that might be based on my mentioning that I’d like to use our Orio Water Cooler as a tornado test dummy. It might have been, can’t be sure.



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