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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published June 15 2013

Weather Talk: Hurricanes often cause tornadoes when come ashore

Hurricanes and tornadoes are separate entities with little in common other than rotating winds and destruction. However, hurricanes often cause tornadoes when they move ashore.

Hurricanes (as well as their weaker siblings, tropical storms) have imbedded within them locally strong thunderstorms: cells of rising and rotating air within the greater storm. These intense, small-scale storms are capable of generating high wind shear (huge differences in wind speed and direction over short distances).

As a hurricane moves over land, the winds closer to the ground are slowed by friction, which can increase the wind shear and spin up short-duration tornadoes with very little advance warning.


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