“Tornado,” I yelled.
Within seconds, the twister had caught up with me. Without a moment to spare, I leapt into a ditch, and as I felt my body lifting from the ground… I woke up!
It was just a dream!
Although I was still shaken, I realized I had found another MUSE. Tornados! I wondered if L. Frank Baum had dreamed of a tornado before writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
They are formed when cool dry air from the Rockies collides with warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. This happens in the plains area between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains. This area is also known as Tornado Alley.
The deadliest tornado in U.S history happened on March 18, 1925. This tornado ripped through, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. It killed nearly 700 people.
While meteorologists can predict when weather conditions are prime for tornados to occur, they cannot actually predict when or where a tornado will form. But after a tornado has struck, scientists collect data to see how they will rate it. They use the Fujita Scale. F-0 (the mildest and least destructive) to F-5 (the fiercest and most destructive)
An F-5 tornado can grow up to 2 miles wide and spin winds over 300 miles per hour. This is enough force to throw cars like bullets and sweep houses off their foundations.
So, what do you do if you are ever in the path of a tornado? The best place is underground. If you have no basement or cellar, then go to the center-most room of your house away from windows. In most houses this would be a center bathroom. If your house is more than one story, make sure to go downstairs.
If you are outside and cannot seek shelter, find a ditch and lie flat on the ground with your hands covering your head. Do not stay inside a car.
With that new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these “what if” questions will help you get started.
What if a tornado was a gigantic cotton candy machine?
What if you were sucked up by a tornado and transported to a new land like Dorothy and Toto?
What if you had a super power to create tornados on command or stop them on command?
The possibilities are endless! And please leave your own “what if” questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa, a piece of paper and a pencil, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere! I look forward to seeing where you take us!
P.S. The word of the week is “meteorology”. Here is the definition: the study of the Earth’s atmosphere, especially of weather forming processes and weather forecasting.