Skip to main content

PODCAST: Tornado Physics

NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library;
OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) 
Last week, the Oklahoma City area was hit with a tornado that claimed 18 lives, including those of two veteran storm chasers. The tornado came only a few weeks after 24 people were killed by a tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma on May 20th. Tornados are more common in the central part of the United States than anywhere else in the world. How do these natural monsters form, and what do scientists need to know to keep people safe from them? This week on the Physics Central podcast we talk to Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. Brooks shares with us the physics behind tornado formation, the many ways that scientists try to gather data on these rare and unpredictable events, and what they hope to learn about them in the future.


Popular Posts

How 4,000 Physicists Gave a Vegas Casino its Worst Week Ever

What happens when several thousand distinguished physicists, researchers, and students descend on the nation’s gambling capital for a conference? The answer is "a bad week for the casino"—but you'd never guess why.

Ask a Physicist: Phone Flash Sharpie Shock!

Lexie and Xavier, from Orlando, FL want to know: "What's going on in this video ? Our science teacher claims that the pain comes from a small electrical shock, but we believe that this is due to the absorption of light. Please help us resolve this dispute!"

The Science of Ice Cream: Part One

Even though it's been a warm couple of months already, it's officially summer. A delicious, science-filled way to beat the heat? Making homemade ice cream. (We've since updated this article to include the science behind vegan ice cream. To learn more about ice cream science, check out The Science of Ice Cream, Redux ) Image Credit: St0rmz via Flickr Over at Physics@Home there's an easy recipe for homemade ice cream. But what kind of milk should you use to make ice cream? And do you really need to chill the ice cream base before making it? Why do ice cream recipes always call for salt on ice?