Ask Storm Team 11: Tornadoes vs. Hurricanes

Ask Storm Team 11


Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question comes from Missy Morgan. She asked: “What is the difference between a tornado and a hurricane?” 

A tornado forms due to a change in the overall wind setup.

In the case of a tornado, there is a difference in the wind between the ground and the higher levels. 
Horizontal rotation is caused by a change in wind direction as you go up. Tornadoes typically form in the strongest of thunderstorms. The rising column of warm air creates rotation from the ground up as well.


A hurricane is comprised of several thunderstorms over a warm ocean. The air flow spreads outward once you get several thousand feet up creating an organized circulation hundreds of miles wide. 

An EF-5 tornado is stronger than a category 5 hurricane, but a single tornado affects far less tornado and properties as a whole because they are smaller storms in size than a hurricane.

Have a question for Storm Team 11? Click here to submit!

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