It is important to understand the likelihood and potential impact of natural disasters. While tsunamis and tornadoes are devastating natural phenomena, they differ in their causes and characteristics. However, is it possible for these two disasters to happen simultaneously?
It will be an extreme coincidence if it ever happens since tornadoes are land storms hovering over oceans in water spout form. In contrast, tsunamis occur as an upheaval of energy from undersea quakes.
However, we all agree that the consequences would be catastrophic, likely beyond anything imaginable, making it a situation best avoided. While we are all aware of what precisely a tsunami and a tornado are, they both have distinct characteristics as well.
Take a deep dive into this article to find out!
Tsunami Vs. Tornado: A Thorough Comparison
Tornadoes and tsunamis, seemingly so different, share one undeniable similarity: the damage they inflict. The tornado’s air turns buildings to rubble, and the tsunami’s water removes everything in its path. While both are natural disasters that cause a lot of damage to the earth, both differ in several ways.
Differences Between Tsunami And Tornado
Let’s examine some of the main distinctions between tornadoes and tsunamis:
- What Causes Both?
Tornadoes form when cool and warm air collide, leading to a column of air creating an updraft and downdraft.
This often occurs during a thunderstorm, with the right temperature of cold winds forming clouds and an eventual funnel. A tornado can move in any direction and stay on the ground anywhere from a few minutes to three hours, depending on the strength of the wind.
Meanwhile, tsunamis are much more powerful natural disasters caused by seismic activities, like earthquakes or landslides, under the sea or ocean. The water displacement causes the wave to form and grow in height as it reaches shallow waters, endangering coastal areas.
- Difference Of Appearance
Tornadoes and tsunamis are vastly different in terms of nature and shape. A tornado’s shape is more of a funnel, with a broader base in the clouds and becoming thinner by the time it reaches the ground. Its crest appears almost like a cone.
On the other hand, tsunamis come in tidal waves, with crests and troughs described as heights fluctuating between 100 meters tall. As they travel closer to shore, these oceanic monsters become more powerful as their amplitude increases.
- Comparison Of Movement
A tornado does not have any specific direction or movement. It changes its course and speed unpredictably. On the contrary, tsunamis move in one direction with relentless power. They barrel through the ocean, undeterred by obstacles.
Tornadoes can range from 95 mph to 350 mph, while tsunamis move at an impressive 30 mph.
- Comparative Damage
Tornadoes and Tsunamis may cause incredible amounts of havoc, but the damage done by each powerful phenomenon is unique. Tornado winds can uproot trees, fling cars, rip off house roofs and shatter glass windows, creating an easily traceable path of destruction.
Meanwhile, Tsunamis come crashing ashore with a smashing force that can destroy boats and bridges and produce floods. Its subsequent retreat of water pulls items and sometimes people along with it in a process known for its twofold devastation.
Comparing these two natural disasters, one can appreciate their ability to create catastrophic consequences. Watch this video to see the massive destruction caused by both:
- Measuring Tactics
Tornadoes are notoriously powerful forces of nature, so they are measured on the Enhanced Fujita Scale to evaluate their strength and destructive potential. Barometric pressure, doppler radar, and turtles are considered to gauge tornado strength.
These turtles are small devices that measure humidity, temperature, pressure, wind speed, and direction.
Meanwhile, tsunamis have their measurement system consisting of tide gauges, satellites, and the DART system. The latter monitors pressure variations via sea-bed bottom pressure recorders.
Plus, it uses sonar data to detect tsunamis through stationed surface buoys scattered across the Pacific Ocean.
Statistics And Probability
Globally, there are typically just two tsunamis reported each year. On the contrary, in the United States alone, there are about 1000 tornadoes reported each year.
When a tornado strikes, seek out for cover. The ideal option is to retreat underground, but if a basement or bunker is unavailable, lie low and close to the ground. Knowing this is particularly crucial while you are at home. Aim to stay away from the windows so that the glass won’t hit you if one breaks.
Additionally, avoid attempting to outrun a tornado if you’re on foot. Also, avoid being close to a tree or pole and try to find a location to keep low. Pull over and look for cover if you’re in a car or find a ditch to lie in.
Meanwhile, when you hear a tsunami warning, start moving toward higher ground. Pay close attention to the emergency announcements and information. Keep yourself secure until the authorities indicate to leave. There may be more powerful aftershock waves from tsunamis. However, if you are in a boat, head to the sea.
The different natures of both indicate that it is implausible for Tsunamis and tornadoes to coincide since they differ in almost everything except their immense, overwhelming impact that could never be overlooked. However, this is a rare thing to happen, but possible.