Presenter Helen Czerski goes to the USA to experience the power of a real tornado. She meets up with an expert, Josh Wurman, to show how the physics of Earth’s unstable atmosphere form tornadoes, but only when the conditions are right.

First broadcast:
3 May 2012

Can be used to support work on extreme events or severe weather. A number of concepts are covered: weather forecasting and tracking, the pre-requisites for the formation of a tornado, the weather features associated with a super-storm and what happens when a storm 'collapses'. It lends itself to a 'cloze' exercise (fill in the gaps) which covers pre-requisites for a tornado to form (what sort of air masses, pressure, rotation?). What sort of weather is associated with a super-storm (rain, hail, high winds, tornadoes) and how are these storms forecast or tracked? What happens when a storm edge collapses?