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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published April 27 2014

Weather Talk: Irrational fear of twisters is based on the unknown

Many people have a fear of tornadoes that goes beyond what is rational. Irrational fear is based on the unknown.

When the concept of a tornado is that of a mystical beast wreaking havoc out of the sky, it can be a difficult thing to deal with. But tornadoes are, in fact, only physical. They are nothing but moving air; wind and wind shear.

Roofs are torn off houses because the wind catches the eaves and lifts the roof away. Some furniture under that roof is left alone because there was not a strong wind at that particular location. Straws are embedded into tree trunks because they are moving at greater than 100 mph.

Tornadoes roar because there is extremely high wind. Blizzards roar, too, just not as loudly and not at the same frequency.

And in most years fewer than 100 people are killed by tornadoes in the United States. Compare that to 35,000 Americans who die each year in car crashes.


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