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Wall cloud with emerging tornado (DI02715), Photograph by Greg Thompson
There are five stages to which a tornado has to go through. Tornadoes are formed during the mature stage of a supercell under the right conditions. The first stage of a tornadoes life cycle is called the "Dust Whirl stage." This stage occurs when a wall cloud or any other type of rotation above, whips up dirt, dust, leaves, grass, etc. The second stage is called the "Organization stage." This stage is important to the tornado's life cycle because it is able to improve the structure, hence increasing wind speed and velocity, and volume. The third stage of a tornado's life cycle is called the "Mature stage." This stage is when the tornado has typically reached it's greatest, strength, size, wind speed, and maturity. The forth stage is called the "Disipating stage." During this stage, the tornado begins to weaken, shrink, and lose its structure. Though in some cases tornadoes may intensify as they shrink The Final stage of the tornado's life cycle is called the "Rope stage." The rope stage happens when the tornado literally has little to no structure at all. The tornado twists and turns, bends and winds, in all types of shapes and directions.
copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
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