The Pressure in Tornadoes

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Pressure in Tornadoes

The pressure inside a tornado is less than the surrounding atmospheric pressure. That pressure differential causes flow into the tornado of objects such as cars, mobile homes, other structures and more (reference Dorothy and Toto). Since tornadoes travel and are only in a specific location for a short time, getting a pressure measurement inside the tornado is quite difficult, so the database is quite small. However, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, “A barometer can start dropping many hours or even days in advance of a tornado if there is low pressure on a broad scale moving into the area.” Of the measurements that have been made in the U.S., the lowest recorded pressure difference is 194 millibars. While it could be damaged like anything else sucked into a tornado, an All Sensors digital output ADO Series barometric pressure sensor could provide the measurement for indicating the pressure drop usually indicative of changing weather conditions.

Tornado (National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR))

This tornado formed during a large thunderstorm in Wyoming.
Source: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

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