America's nasty storms, explained
Eastern U.S. — A number of tornadoes barreling through the Eastern U.S. have killed 23 people and wreaked havoc in cities and towns along their way, reports Reuters
At least 23 people have died due to a string of tornadoes going through Eastern cities in the US.
Currently, roughly 90 million people are at risk due to the massive storms.
According to the National Weather Service, tornadoes are the roughest type storms. They are formed quickly and are on the ground for less than 15 minutes, however, they can reach speeds of 300 mile per hour, or roughly 483 kilometers per hour, making them extremely destructive.
Tornadoes mostly occur during spring and summer in the United States.
They form when cold and dry winds from Canada collide with warm and humid air coming from the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, most tornadoes in America happen around Florida and in what is known as 'Tornado Alley', a region in the southern plains of the central United States.
The Storm Prediction Center can forecast if tornadoes will form by observing weather conditions that could develop into storms. However, tornado warnings cannot be issued until the tornado is visible or detected by a weather radar.
Tornadoes are measured using the Enhanced Fujita, or EF, scale which goes from 0 to 5.
An EF level 0 is equal to gusts of wind that last three seconds and traveling at speeds of from 65 to 85 miles per hour or 105 to 138 kilometers per hour.
Tornadoes with an EF rating of 5 have winds reaching up to 200 miles per hour or 322 kilometers per hour.The recent string of tornadoes in Alabama have an EF rating of 3 with winds reaching 150 miles per hour or 241 kilometers per hour.