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Tornados in the Midwest, a bit of information from someone who was in the heart of the storms.

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posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 04:11 PM

reply to post by RomeByFire

Can you explain to me an European, why do people living in an high intensity Tornado/Hurricane area still build homes in what seems to be paper derivatives or at best wood and plaster houses ?

We have small tornadoes in Europe but most of the damage is only to roofs and caused by trees and debris... in any case climate change signifies higher energy accumulation in the atmosphere so this types of things will only become stronger and more common.

edit on 17-11-2013 by Panic2k11 because: (no reason given)

The whole of the USA is at a theoretical risk of tornadoes, with the central-Eastern area at higher risk (tornado alley). But the actual risk of being physically damaged by a tornado is so low, that the costs of living somewhere where the land is cheap outweighs the cost of home insurance. Where there isn't a high risk of tornado damage, there is the risk of earthquakes, volcanoes, sandstorms, hurricanes, snow blizzards and flooding. So overall, no one area is safer than the others.

Tornado wind speed map

Tornadoes only happen during particular times of the year (tornado season = march to august) when severe thunderstorms are more likely. There's a whole science to their formation, but the conditions include a layer of super-saturated humid air (need to store the energy for a thunderstorm to form), two different wind directions at different heights to create rotational energy, different temperatures and a certain amount of random turbulence. Something like a layer of cold air floating above a layer of warm humid air moving in a different direction. Then the random turbulence causes the cold air to start moving downwards setting in motion the creation of rotating tubes of air rolling around a horizontal axis. These are known as "cloud streets", "vortex tubes", "cloud settling" and "rayleigh-taylor instability". There's some theories about how these can form through the use of a combination of meteorological conditions and pollution:

Eventually one or more of these twist and turn until they start rotating in a vertical axis. A video of a jet engine vortex is a good example:

This is like a scale model, but at 1/5000th scale. You'd need a jet engine the size of an aircraft carrier to physically create a tornado. I am wondering if all those military aircraft flying around could create enough turbulence to set things off.

posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 09:32 PM
reply to post by stormcell

I disagree that the notion that risk is the same in all regions that some have repeated and that the physical environment itself (plains and lack of trees promotes the creation and increases duration/strengths of the phenomena or that high structures including buildings in a high urban environment will not make it safer).

I accepted as valid the notion that it goes basically towards a cultural and "false economy" notion (it depends on what you see as worth spending money). Personal safety and property value seems to be secondary to ease of construction, costs and even complexity of planning. For example in most of Europe permanent house constructions require an architect and a civil engineer and without any exception for any medium or large urban areas. There is a bit of bureaucracy and licensing and most of Europe lives in condominiums (several houses aggregated into a single unit) not in individual single or double floor houses (there are some but not on a similar scale, there is space constrains, if urban demographies increase buildings tend to start to grow not in number but in height).

Affordable housing had a few graphics on the US situation and there is clearly a link between property worth and the type of preferred construction and environment (like you said).

As I said before there is a clear difference in house quality Europeans prefer "masonry walls" (from bricks to cement) instead of wood framing, they use tile roofing instead of asphalt shingles. Even prefer copper flashing and gutters instead of aluminum. The quality windows tend also to be superior with beefier frames and better quality hardware. Much higher quality interior and exterior doors etc... (Generally speaking, culturally Europeans also give more importance to the ownership of a house).

I still believe that the size of calamities, even costs in lives and property damages could be reduced by better construction and urban planning vs cheap and easy to replace housing. I also got and agree with the point that someone made about changes in construction and urban density being a factor, having potential targets over a larger area would make the second option more economically viable even without reducing the risks and discomfort of any victims as the social/economical structure would still be in place after a disaster.

PS: Just an edit to add that the difference may also be due to the social infrastructure, especially communal transportation offerings and the less reliance in individual transportation. The car (industry and road construction) may have been the primary factor for the way American society evolved their suburbs they way it did.

edit on 19-11-2013 by Panic2k11 because: (no reason given)

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