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The Weather Page

The Baltimore Sun

Hannah Ballew, at Westminster High School, wonders what conditions spawn tornadoes and keep them going. It requires a collision of warm, moist surface air with colder air aloft. The warm air becomes buoyant, rises into the colder air and forms a thunderstorm. If the rising air encounters "shear" - winds aloft moving in a different direction - it begins to spin. If it touches ground, it's a tornado. In 1917, perfect conditions kept a twister going for seven hours, across 293 miles.

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