I just came across these amazing NASA photos showing the Alabama tornado tracks. And of course, there are many Thinkfinity resources that help students understand tornadoes, like Wonderopolis's Where is Tornado Alley?
How do you and your students explore the science of tornadoes?
Those are great, Christine!
We also have some resources focused on wind and weather that are useful when discussing tornadoes:
Properties of Air - This lesson explores how air takes up space, and puts pressure, or pushes, on everything around it.
Air Masses - This lesson helps develop an understanding of air masses and the role they play in weather and climate.
USA Today's Weather Basics - This tool offers resources to help students understand weather, climate, and some other earth science topics.
Dangerous Hail - Every year, tornadoes, hurricanes, and snowstorms claim lives and cause injuries. But strangely, hailstorms, which pelt the ground with hard balls of ice, never seem to hit human targets.
Tornado Advice - Science Update podcast answering a caller question about opening windows during a tornado.
Listening to Twisters - Hear how infrasound instruments can detect tornadoes long before traditional means in this Science Update podcast.
Thanks for posting those, Richard. That's exactly what I had on my mind when I started this conversation: that natural/historic events, like these, can be the spark that sets a student on the course of wanting to have a career (or even a summer internship) in a certain field.
Whenever I hear about a natural disaster, I'm fascinated by the people who work on the resulting problems — like the Mississippi's Army Corps of Engineers or the engineers who developed a way to extract miners in Chile to search and rescue effort. Nature provides fascinating and urgent problem-solving situations.
Just came across this tutorial on tornadoes developed by NOAA and featured on the NPR site. Could be helpful. I found it easy to understand.