They’re big, they’re scary and they can carry cars, cows and even a couple of houses. They can range from a simple dust storm to a force that can wipe out an entire town.
Unfortunately, the latter is coming for you. This is a tornado. Normally you’d take cover and hide, or try to run from it.
But instead, we’re skydiving into it. Woohooooo!!! What would you see inside a tornado?
Could you possibly survive this? And what would happen when the tornado stops?
Unlike most natural disasters, being caught in the middle of a tornado is actually survivable. There have been multiple reports from people who were caught inside the eye of a tornado and have walked away without any injuries.
Tornadoes are most likely to occur in Tornado Alley, a stretch of land in the midwestern United States. They form when cool, dry air from Canada and hot, moist air from Mexico clash together to create a vicious storm, which eventually becomes a tornado.
The wind in a tornado can be up to nearly 500 km/h (310 mph) and as wide as 5 kilometers (3 miles). So let’s jump into this thing.
Alright, you’re now inside of a tornado. If you manage to keep yourself from puking, as you’re hurled and spun around within these violent winds, you’ll quickly notice a couple of things that happen when you’re inside a tornado.
The first thing you’ll probably notice would be the temperature change. Inside a tornado, it’s 15-20° C (27-36° F) degrees Celsius colder than it would be outside.
That’s due to wind constantly being funneled into the center of the vortex. The funneling will not only make it much colder, but it will also make the air much thinner than what you’re used to.
Researchers estimate that the density of the air would be 20% lower than what’s found at high altitudes. To put this in perspective, breathing in a tornado would be equivalent to breathing at an altitude of 8,000 m (26,246.72 ft). At that level, you generally need assistance to be able to breathe.
So let’s hope you don’t stay in here long. If you do, you’ll quickly pass out. So let’s give you a special mask, so you don’t have to worry about breathing.
Another thing you’ll notice is just how smooth the airflow inside a tornado is. Storm watchers that have briefly been inside a tornado observed that despite it looking like a crazy mess of wind and clouds from the outside, the air in the eye of the tornado is actually quite smooth.
But don’t expect a nice peaceful ride while you’re inside this thing. Sure, maybe it would feel like nothing else existed on Earth, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.
And it wouldn’t just be a party of one in this tornado. There would be tons of other debris within it. Glass, wood, bricks and even entire objects like houses and cars. And let’s not forget about those cows.
With the tornado continually picking up other debris, it would be pretty easy for you to get hit by something. And remember, these things would be spinning at nearly 500 km/h (310 mph).
So unless you get out of this thing quickly, or happen to be incredibly lucky, you’ll most likely get hit by debris and become severely injured or die. But if you manage to survive all that, the tornado will eventually
This is due to cool air entering the vortex. Now the tornado is gone, and you can pop your parachute, and you’re free!
Keep in mind, it’s basically impossible for this to happen and for you to survive. You’ll have a much higher chance of surviving if you manage to avoid the tornado and seek some sort of shelter.
But what if we could nuke tornadoes, and stop them altogether?
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- “This Is What It’s Like To Be Inside A Tornado”. Gorman, Ryan, 2015. Business Insider. Accessed September 13 2019.
- “Tornado”. 2019. en.wikipedia.org. Accessed September 13 2019.
- “The Survival Story Of The Only Known Person To Parachute Through A Thunderstorm“.
Daven Hiskey, 2019. Business Insider. Accessed September 13 2019.