Tornado

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Tornado

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Jul 31, 2021 6:20 pm

• tornado •


Pronunciation: tor-nay-do • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A violent whirlwind, a rotary windstorm forming a funnel that sucks objects upward from the ground when it touches.

Notes: Today's Good Word is eerily apropos in on the light of the tornados have already begun to sweep across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia. We wish all the best to those who lost their homes in this catastrophe. You may form the plural of this word with or without an E; tornados is just as good as tornadoes. The scientific world uses the adjective tornadic when an adjective is needed, as 'tornadic weather' or 'winds'. Tornadoish means "like a tornado", though my spellcheck doesn't recognize it.

In Play: Head for the cellar!Today's meteorological term usually refers to a severe storm with spinning wind patterns that literally suck large objects up from the ground: "Tornadoes wreaked havoc across five states, killing 1 person and destroying small towns." Since the aftermath of a real tornado is a ravaged landscape, this word is often used metaphorically to refer to things in complete disarray. What mother hasn't said this more than once to her child: "Your room looks like a tornado struck it!"

Word History: The origin of today's Good Word would seem to be Spanish tronada "thunderstorm" from tronar "to thunder". The best guess is that English borrowed tronada, then subjected the R and O to metathesis either under the influence of Spanish tornar "to twist, turn" or English turn. Spanish tronar comes from Latin tonare "to thunder". The same root that produced this word produced English thunder (from Old English thunor) and German Donner. English blunderbuss is a revision of Dutch donderbus "thunderbox", based on the Dutch word donder "thunder" from the same source. (Let us all thank Chris Berry, a Grand Panjandrum in the Alpha Agora, for suggesting today's Good Word and wish him a tornadoless life.)
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Slava
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Re: Tornado

Postby Slava » Sat Jul 31, 2021 8:48 pm

For buffs, an interesting site I just came across while looking for news on the tornadoes mentioned: https://tornadopaths.org/

You can look up places by zip code, too. I was surprised to find out that there had been one in my city back in 1994. I was living in Moscow at the time, so I guess that's why I was blissfully unaware of it. It was also quite short-lived and not particularly powerful, rating a mere F1.
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Re: Tornado

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:27 pm

Here in the hinterlands we are smack-dab in the middle of tornado alley. I have witnessed more than I care to count. I have seen large 18 wheeler trailers dance in them. I am thankful I have never been in one personally. I have endured straight line winds in New Mexico's Raton Pass that approached tornadic windspeed. They blow 18 wheelers off the road at times. For the uninitiated, an 18 wheeler is a trailer truck that has 18 wheels in all, trailer and cab. They are but but don't compare to Australia's gigantic trailer trucks. Just now we are fighting regulations that would allow for even larger truck on our roadways. And my sister was an international [USA and Canada] trucker in her heyday.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

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Slava
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Re: Tornado

Postby Slava » Sat Aug 07, 2021 10:55 pm

I believe the straight line winds you mention are called derecho. I've never experienced either.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

Philip Hudson
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Re: Tornado

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Aug 08, 2021 8:38 pm

am not familiar with derecho as a wind. Thanks for the information. The wind in mountain passes as well as on high bridges is a much smaller phenomenon. They are localized. Nevertheless they can be fierce. I fear the wind on a high bridge near Wichita Falls, Texas, a city where I once lived and taught high school mathematics. I was a terrible teacher. I quit before I was fired.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.


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