How quickly do tornadoes travel?
Most tornadoes travel at about 30 kph, but some are much speedier movers. They race along the ground as quickly as a car. What’s more, the wind inside a tornado can blow at an amazing 480 kph.
Do tornadoes happen at sea?
Yes, they’re called waterspouts. These giant twists of water can be over 1.5 kilometres tall. In the past, sailors thought waterspouts were sea monsters!
How do wildfires start?
They destroy huge patches of forest, and spread very quickly, especially in dry weather. Lightning starts hundreds of wildfires a year. But most fires are started intentionally by people to clear space for farms and fields. These fires can quickly get out of control.
Is it true?
Some trees have fireproof bark.
YES. Many trees die in forest fires because their wood easily catches fire. But some trees have special bark which protects the wood inside from the flames.
How do people fight wildfires?
Fighting a wildfire is difficult and dangerous. Special planes fly overhead spraying the forest with millions of litres of water. Firelighters on the ground try to hold back the fire with water and beaters.
What is a heatwave?
A heatwave is very hot weather which lasts much longer than usual. The scorching heat can kill people, animals and crops. It also dries up reservoirs, and melts the surface of roads.
It can take hundreds of years for a forest to grow again after a fire. But sometimes fires can be good for forests. They clear space for new plants to grow.
What makes the land slide ?
A landslide is a huge fall of soil or mud which suddenly breaks off a cliff or mountainside and slides downhill. Some landslides are caused by volcanoes, heavy rain, or earthquakes, which make the ground shake and slip.
Where was the worst mudslide ?
The worst mudslide happened in Colombia in South America. In 1985, a volcano erupted and melted masses of snow and ice, turning the soil to mud. the mud poured downhill at top speed and buried a whole town.
Is it true ?
Cutting down trees causes landslides.
Yes. Tree roots are useful for sticking the soil together. If the trees are cut down, the soil turns to mud and washes away when it rains.
Why do cliffs collapse ?
As the waves crash against a cliff, they wear the bottom of the cliff away. If the cliff becomes too top-heavy, it collapses into the sea. A long the east coast of England, whole cliff-top villages have toppled into the sea.
Mudslides can slide at high speeds of up to 110 kph. They can slither along for as much as 100 kilometres before coming to a stop.
What is El Nino?
El Nino is a warm band of water which flows in the sea along the coast of South America. Scientists blame El Nino for changing the weather, by causing more storms, floods, droughts and tornadoes every few years.
El Nino is represented by the red areas along the centre of the Earth
Is it true?
It can rain cats and dogs.
- But you can get showers of fish, frogs, flowers, coal, nuts and even maggots! Scientists think the wind scoops them up, then they fall again in the rain.
What are monsoons?
Monsoons are winds which bring heavy rain to tropical places such as India and South East Asia, during the summer months. Farmers rely on this rain to water their crops, because during the cooler months, there might be little or no rainfall.
A turtle once fell in a hailstone in the USA. It had somehow been sucked up into a thundercloud and covered in layers of ice.