Thursday, May 5, 2011


I was walking down a country road when I heard thunder. I turned around and saw huge grey clouds billowing in the distance. As I looked closer I could see what looked like an upside down witch’s hat reaching toward the ground.
“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.
I jumped out of bed and rushed over to my desk. I began researching my newest MUSE. Here is what I found.
Tornados are sometimes referred to as “twisters” or “cyclones”. They are violent, dangerous, rotating columns of air that reach down to the ground from a thunderstorm cloud.
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!
With Imagination,
Prof. Watermelon
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.


  1. I have had more than one bad dream about tornados. M

  2. Me too, Molly! I have at least two or three a year!

  3. What if tornados where green?
    What if tornados where the best?

  4. What if tornados where good?
    What if tornados could talk?
    What if tornados where fish?

  5. What if a tornado could play soft ball?
    What if a tornado could pitch?
    What if a tornado could get an iPod?
    What if a tornado could water ski?
    What if a tornado could suck up earth?
    What if a tornado drank milk
    What if a tornado could not even suck up a curb?
    What if a tornado was blue?
    What if a tornado could read a book?
    What if a tornado was red?
    What if a tornado could transform into a car?
    What if a tornado went to school?
    What if a tornado had a iPad?
    What if a tornado could play video games?
    What if a tornado could dance?
    What if a tornado could sing?
    What if a tornado could write?
    What if a tornado could draw?
    What if a tornado drove a car?
    What if a tornado could suck up mars?
    What if a tornado could ride a boot?
    What if the tornado could go over the whole world be water?
    What if a tornado could be a friend?

    Jack Hufford