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Types of Tornadoes

Many of you may have saw a tornado in your lifetime and may have heard terms such as “wedge” or “stovepipe” tornado being thrown around. If you thought they were silly names for tornado, you’ll be surprised to find that these a real terms. There are several types of tornadoes out there and you’ll be shocked which types are out there!

Wedge Tornadoes
First, is the wedge tornado which is usually classified by its size which is being wide in size. They are also known to be very destructive due to their intensity which is usually an EF3 tornado or greater! Some of these tornadoes happen to be from popular outbreaks such as the Super Outbreak of 2011 especially the Tuscaloosa tornado that touched down on April 27, 2011!

Tornado outbreak of April 13–16, 2012 - Wikipedia
Strong wedge tornado that touched down during the April 13-16, 2012 outbreak ISource: Wikipedia)

Cone Tornadoes
These are known as the typical tornadoes that usually touch down according to how people view them. Similar to wedge tornadoes though, they are known to leave a devastating trail of destruction along its path. These are also typically known as “stovepipe” tornadoes due to their appearance with the top of the tornado being wider than at the bottom.

Tornado - Wikipedia
A typical example of a cone tornado. (Source: Wikipedia)

Rope Tornadoes
These are known as the most common tornadoes among all the other types. These normally last around a few minutes. Even with their small size in nature, they can still cause considerable damage to areas along its path.

Identifying nature's dangerous whirlwinds: A guide to 5 types of tornadoes  | AccuWeather
This is an example of a rope tornado. (Source: Accuweather)

Multi-Vortex and Satellite Tornadoes
These are known to be tornadoes in which there are several areas of rotation within a supercell meaning that there could be one or more tornadoes on the ground swirling around each other. In extreme cases, these tornadoes can be split and can lead to double-trouble with two separate tornadoes being on the ground. This was the case with the Pilger, Nebraska tornadoes in 2014 when there were two separate strong tornadoes on the ground!

Multiple-vortex tornado - Wikipedia
An example of a multivortex tornado. (Source: Wikipedia)

These are known as tornadoes that touch down on the water and are known to be less intense than the tornadoes that touch down on land. However, they are still considered dangerous especially to boaters and ships.

Waterspout - Wikipedia
An example of a waterspout. (Source; Wikipedia)

These are known to be weaker than rope tornadoes and are known to be very weak and are not often associated with supercell storms but can happen when there is enough weak rotation for one to touch down. These usually come out as EF-0’s and still cause some damage.

Unusual landspout tornado touches down in Colorado
A landspout that touched down in Colorado. (Source: NBC News)