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Video: Scientists Still Don't Know How Tornadoes Form

Watch this video and learn what we know and don't know about how tornadoes form.

Like so many across the country, we're stunned and saddened by the reports from the devastating tornado outbreak that took more than 200 lives and left massive swaths of ruin across so much of the south.

And like so many across the country, we want to better understand tornadoes: How and why do they form? How good are we at predicting them? As it turns out, scientists still don't know know much about what exactly causes tornadoes.


Here's a great video by Christie Nicholson for Scientific American that explores what we do know about tornadoes, and what still needs to be better understood.

If you'd like to support the individuals and families affected by these awful events, visit and donate to the Portlight organization, which provides support to families in affected areas.

Thumbnail photo of NOAA scientists investigating a 2009 tornado in Wyoming (cc) by NOAA Photo Library