Tornados are really weird

Funnel CLoud 2
Funnel CLoud 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you think about it, you’ll realize that tornados are really weird. I guess hurricanes are too, but for some reason they make more sense to me. Maybe because they start out over the ocean and involve a lot of water.


Consider an earthquake. Two underground plates literally grind together, causing the earth to shake. It’s a tangible action. We can’t see it, but if we paid attention in science class, we know that there’s a ton of pressure on these plates because, darn it, they are REALLY heavy, and it all makes sense that eventually something will have to give.

Tsunamis? Same thing. If you shake a bowl of water, you’re bound to make a mess. Shake the earth under the ocean, make a bigger mess. It all makes sense to me.

But a tornado? For no good reason, the sky decides to gather up all of its energy and throw it at the earth. There is plenty of room for all that energy to move around up there. Why not spread it out and just throw us an awesome light show?

Why does the sky just suddenly decide to twist itself up into a raging cone and lash out at the earth below? I’m no meteorologist, but even if I was, I don’t know that it would make sense to me.

Besides, it’s more romantic to think of the earth and sky in an eternal battle to occupy the same space. If they can’t live and play well together, how can we expect the human race — caught in the middle as we are — to live and play well together?

I drove through Washington, Illinois a couple of years ago right after half the town was destroyed by a devastating tornado. I had watched the national news coverage of that particular storm very closely, as my sister and her family live right across the river in Peoria.

Now I’m only 45 minutes away from there, and the sound of the tornado sirens terrifies me. Even when they test them at ten a.m. one weekday a month, I get a chill down my spine, and my stomach clenches up until the sirens go silent. All this from a girl who once stood directly underneath a funnel cloud in Texas with a video camera while her friends screamed at her to get inside.

A funnel cloud is an awesome thing, but my perspective on such things has changed since I had kids. For example, I’ve always wanted to go sky diving, but now I feel like I should wait until my kids are old enough to take care of themselves if something should happen to me.

Am I rambling? I am totally rambling. I don’t have a point. It’s just that tornados are really weird to me, and I wondered if anyone else thought so too.


If you like my writing, be sure to check out my latest eBook, a short story called Rain at Three. It’s not about a tornado, but there is a brewing storm. This eBook is available on Kindle for only 99 cents. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the Kindle app for free on your mobile device.

1 thought on “Tornados are really weird”

  1. When I first moved to the Upper Midwest, I didn’t know that I was moving into tornado country. I believed that country was much farther south — Kansas, for example, Oklahoma. The first time the sirens went off, I was cleaning the roof deck and my charge, an 8-year-old boy, was watching TV. An hour later, when we both happened to be in the kitchen at the same time, he asked me if I’d heard the “tornado sirens.” What?! There was a tornado!? He laughed and told me nothing happened, it was just a warning in case something happened. He must have told his parents, because at dinner the next evening, they gave me a “what to do if there’s a tornado warning” lesson. I was flabbergasted. Tornadoes here? That was over 30 years ago. Since then, I’ve lived through countless tornado storms, seen the storms, the orange and blackish green colors of the wind, the bubbling clouds, the wall clouds, the funnels, but never a tornado that’s on the ground except in news video. I count myself very lucky. I did do some research into tornadoes — they make a lot of sense scientifically, even if they will always belong in Kansas as the gateway to Oz….. Cinda

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