Teacher’s questions for Twister Science


Before reading:

  1. Describe what you know about tornadoes.

During reading:

  1. Briefly define a tornado.
  2. What makes tornadoes so violent?
  3. Where on Earth do tornadoes occur most frequently?
  4. List three ingredients required to make a tornado.
  5. Describe the role of the updraft in tornado formation.
  6. Would you expect most supercell thunderstorms to produce tornadoes?
  7. Name two things that have to occur for a rotating column of air in a supercell thunderstorm to make a tornado.
  8. What rough percentage of strong tornadoes strike without the National Weather Service’s first issuing a warning?

After reading:

  1. Describe some benefits of better understanding how, when and why tornadoes form.
  2. The National Weather Service issues warnings for about 75% of tornadoes. However, 75% of its tornado warnings aren’t actually followed by tornadoes. If you could change just one of the two percentages, would you increase the first or decrease the second? Why?


  1. Emergency officials have long used radio, television and even sirens to warn people of tornadoes. Today, they use text messaging, Twitter and Facebook, too. Which medium would motivate you the most to seek shelter in the minutes before a tornado hits? Why?