Cyclones and Tornadoes


A cyclone is a strong wind storm.

Hurricane is another name for a cyclone.

A tornado is a twisting wind storm.

Cyclones and tornadoes are dangerous storms that can destroy things.



The 'eye' of a cyclone photographed from the space shuttle

What is a cyclone? ............

Violent wind storms are called cyclones in Australia, and are known as typhoons and hurricanes in other countries.

Tropical cyclones begin over warm tropical seas in areas of low atmospheric pressure. The warm, moist air begins to spiral and becomes a strong, circling, wind storm. In the centre of a cyclone, there is a calm area called the 'eye'. In the eye, the sky is clear and there is only a light wind blowing.

Cyclones can change direction suddenly, which makes it very difficult for meteorologists to forecast what will happen. Tropical cyclones bring heavy rain and cause high waves.

Cyclones cause damage

Cyclones move at up to 360 kilometres per hour, bringing heavy rain. The wind and rain causes lots of damage when the cyclone crosses over coastal lands.

The worst cyclone in Australia was
Cyclone Tracy,which devastated the city of Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974.

The word cyclone means 'a turning wind with one eye' and comes from an old Greek story about a race of one-eyed giants called 'Cyclops'. One of these creatures captured Odysseus, a hero of the Ancient Greeks, and kept him and his men captive in a cave. The Cyclops planned to eat the men, but he was out smarted by Odysseus who led his men to safety.

What is a tornado?
A tornado is a violent, twisting windstorm. A tornado forms when air in a thunder cloud is set spinning by wind, and more and more air is sucked up into a spinning column like a giant vacuum cleaner.

Image © [2007] Jupiterimages Corporation

Tornadoes cause damage
Tornadoes suck up dust, uproot trees, overturn cars and buildings, and lift roofs and even people.
Tornadoes in deserts are sometimes called 'dust devils', and in Australia, an Aboriginal name for a tornado is 'willy-willy'.

You can find out more about cyclones & tornadoes at these sites

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/tcfaqHED.html

http://www.ga.gov.au/hazards/cyclone/

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com.au/environment/natural-disasters/tornado-profile/

Acknowledge this source in your bibliography like this:
Thomas, Ron. & Sydenham, Shirley.
Cyclones and Tornadoes. [Online] www.kidcyber.com.au (2009).

Other weather pages on kidcyber. Clouds .. Cyclone Tracy .. Dew & Frost .. Ice .. Snow & Hail ,, Thunder & Lightning .. Winds ... Fun Weather Facts

Back to Planet Earth

April 2013 copyright © kidcyber

 Please contact kidcyber if you find broken links etc. that need repair.

us@kidcyber.com.au