Tornadoes are known to be incredibly violent columns of air that cause damage to property, businesses, and communities each year.
They are part of the death toll every single year, with some being so powerful that they take lives.
In this post, we’re going to answer a question we see many of our readers asking. Is a tornado a natural disaster?
In short, yes, a tornado is a natural disaster. A tornado is a sudden and terrible event that happens in nature, so it is categorized as a natural disaster.
Let’s take a closer look…
What Is A Natural Disaster?
A natural disaster is defined as an event that occurs naturally, such as a flood, hurricane, earthquake, or the many other types that occur on planet earth.
Natural disasters are major, adverse events that happen as part of a natural process from the earth.
It’s an event that occurs by itself, with no human intervention. Although, some types of natural disasters can sometimes be caused by human input, such as earthquakes.
Natural disasters are simply a part of life on earth. In an ideal world, we would live in a world that isn’t affected by natural hazards, but this just isn’t the world we live in.
No matter where we choose to live on earth, we are still living in a natural landscape that has its hazards.
For example, Tornado Alley is a loosely defined area of Central USA that is one of the world’s tornado hotspots. Tornado Alley covers areas of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and more.
The United States is by far the country that is most affected every year by tornadoes, with an average of 1200 tornadoes each year.
Why Is A Tornado Considered A Natural Disaster?
So is a tornado a natural disaster? Yes, absolutely.
A tornado is an event that occurs naturally on earth, they form when warm, humid air collides with cold dry air, therefore it is a natural disaster.
This is an event that would happen on earth, regardless of whether we humans were present, much like a volcanic eruption.
In fact, there is not a lot we can do about the fact that tornadoes exist on our planet, we have no way to combat them and instead have to do everything in our power to protect ourselves against them.
Forces of nature are often strong and unforgiving, with many natural disasters being incredibly dangerous and wreaking havoc on landscapes and communities.
A tornado can rip through towns and cities leaving an immense amount of damage behind, they are so strong that some tornadoes can tear apart skyscrapers in seconds.
What Is Considered A Natural Disaster?
A natural disaster is a large-scale geological or meteorological event that has the potential to cause loss of life or property.
These events usually come with extreme weather and often cause a lot of injuries in their path of destruction.
Some examples of natural disasters include:
- Volcanic eruptions
- Severe storms
Natural disasters are usually rare, large events that cause billions of dollars worth of damage to communities and those affected.
Whilst natural disasters have always been around on planet earth, research suggests that they are getting more and more common over the past several years.
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), 2020 was the sixth consecutive year that 10 or more climate or weather events that cost $1 billion or more impacted the United States.
These are alarming statistics, but why are natural disasters seemingly increasing worldwide?
Well, there are a number of factors that are impacting the uptick, and according to the NCEI, one of these is simply that Americans now have more valuable assets in vulnerable locations than in previous years.
More Americans now own property and businesses worldwide, meaning when natural disasters happen, there is more chance of Americans being impacted.
The NCEI also suggests that global warming and climate change are making natural disasters more common than in previous decades.
This shift can significantly impact the US with disasters such as wildfires and droughts impacting the west and more rainfall in the east.
Can A Tornado Cause Other Natural Disasters?
Tornadoes are often accompanied by large thunderstorms, hail, and incredibly high winds, but they typically don’t cause other natural disasters.
Although they have a large path of destruction, which can sometimes be as much as one mile wide and fifty miles long, they don’t cause tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, or other disasters.
That said, a strong tornado can cause flash floods and can come with some severe hail.
Some natural disasters can trigger other natural disasters, for example, an earthquake can trigger a tsunami that can cause a devastating impact on communities.
So, is a tornado a natural disaster? Yes, they certainly are.
Some tornadoes last as little as a few seconds after they hit the ground, whilst some last for over three hours and can wreck complete cities.
Tornadoes are incredibly scary natural disasters that are often accompanied by a whole host of extreme weather.
Thankfully they are unable to trigger other natural disasters, unlike earthquakes.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope you’ve learned something new today about tornadoes and natural disasters.
If you have enjoyed this post, feel free to stick around and learn more about natural disasters and extreme weather.
Hey, I’m Sam – the founder of GustyPlanet. I’ve had a fascination with all things weather for as long as I can remember. I witnessed my first tornado at the age of 6, and since then became an avid storm chaser that is hooked on learning as much as I can about extreme weather. This blog was created to share my knowledge and to expand and delve deeper into the wonderful world of weather phenomena. I hope you enjoy your stay here and thanks for visiting.