TempestTours®   Est. 2000

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"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."  - Henry David Thoreau

Storm Glossary

n : An abbreviation for cloud-to-ground lightning.

crawler lightning n, slang : A term for cloud-to-cloud lightning that spreads or "crawls" across the sky.  This type of lightning produces some of the most spectacular light shows for sky watchers.  Also anvil crawlers.

F-Scale n : a method of measuring tornado intensity created by tornado research pioneer Dr. Theodore Fujita.  In summary: F0-F1, weak tornado; F2-F3, strong tornado; F4-F5, violent tornado.

hail n : Frozen precipitation in the form of lumps of ice, or "stones" created when rain is pushed above the freezing level by a thunderstorm's updraft.  Hail stones grow larger with subsequent passes until they become too heavy to be supported by the updraft and fall to earth.

lightning n : A visible electrical discharge produced by a thunderstorm from one cloud to another or from cloud to ground.  Lightning kills more people in the US than do tornadoes.

microburst n : A small, very intense downdraft affecting an area of less than 4 kilometers wide.  Microbursts are capable of producing winds of more than 100 mph causing significant damage on the ground.  They are a serious threat to aviation

storm  n, 1 a : a disturbance of the atmosphere attended by wind and usu. by rain, snow, hail, sleet, or thunder and lightning.  Also cumulonimbus, cyclone, hurricane, mesocyclone, supercell, thunderhead, thunderstorm, tropical storm, and upper-level storm

storm chaser n : A person who chases storms, especially tornadoes, hurricanes and supercell thunderstorms.  Veteran storm chasers forecast and intercept some of the most significant weather events on earth.  They posses a thorough knowledge of and respect for severe weather.

supercell n : A thunderstorm with a persistent, rotating updraft.  The rarest thunderstorm type, the supercell, produces the most violent weather including the most significant tornadoes, giant hail, deadly lightning and damaging microburst winds.  The supercell thunderstorm is our forecasters' primary target.  Also mesocyclone.

tornado n : A violently rotating column of air associated with a thunderstorm that is in contact with the ground. Tornadoes are categorized as weak, strong or violent with winds of up to, or more than 300 mph.

Tornado Alley n : A region of the United States that experiences a relatively high frequency of tornadoes on an annual basis.  Tornado Alley generally includes most of the Great Plains and a portion of the Midwest.  The area of highest frequency in May and June runs roughly from Central Texas to the Dakotas.  More tornadoes occur in the US than anywhere else on earth.

Tempest Tours is a corporate member of the American Meteorological Society, National Weather Association, National Tour Association and the National Safety Council.  Storm footage can be licensed through StormStock a division of Prairie Pictures.  We support and contribute to Autism Awareness and the Texas Severe Storms AssociationTrademark and Copyright © Tempest Tours, Inc.