Weather Recon: The Hunt for the Texas Twister By: Matthew Gaffney and Alya Zouaoui 3Stokes
Day 1: Our motley crew has officially addressed our hunt for the elusive texas twister. Although swirling masses of air (tornados) are abundant in Texas' tornado alley, there is one that is above all the largest and most dangerous of them; The Texas twister. After battling it out with hurricane Katrina by the east coast (a very dangerous ocean-born cyclone), we decided it was better to stick with more inland weather patterns. As we traveled inland, one of my friends started calculating the dew point (the point at which the air must be cooled in order for the the air mass to become saturated).
Day 2: Even though we are an experienced group of storm chasers, we have no idea how to find the Texas twister. We decided to hire a meteorologist to help us. He explained to us that the twister normally forms on the boundary of a mass of cold air (cold front) and the boundary of a mass of warm air (warm front). Both boundaries combined make a Stationary front. The mixing of the hot and cold air creates high and low pressure zones, the high in the warm front, and the low in the cold. That's where we'll find the twister.
Day 3: We found it, exactly where the meteorologist told us! The warm and cold air circle around us, creating a convection current. The air moves faster and faster, creating the destructive mass of air and clouds that is the Texas Twister! What a wild ride. The van was almost swept up by the tornado.
Day 4: After our encounter with the Texas Twister, we traveled down to the gulf coast to find that another Hurricane was happening a few miles offshore! This week just gets better and better! We rent a boat to ride against the ocean and wind currents pushing against us to reach the eye of the storm. Both currents are being affected by the hurricane and fronts, causing them to move towards the coastline.
Day 5: In conclusion, this week was a good one. Today the sun is shining bright, giving us warmth, and is also warming up the oceans and land. As we traveled across the country back to our home base, we saw many different clouds. Big, puffy cumulus, line upon line of stratus clouds, and small wisps of cirrus clouds. we were met with rain, snow, sleet, hail, and even frozen rain! We tracked storms for next week using an isotherm and isobar to find next week's temperature and pressure zones. To reiterate, the week was awesome!
Warm, Cold and Stationary fronts
The Atmosphere and convection
High and low pressure
Hurricanes and Tornadoes
Isotherm and isobar
types of clouds
Types of precipitation
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