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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 40 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD September 25, 19.4 Ask Andy TORNADO Andy sends a complete 20- volume set of the Merit Students Encyclopedia to Jeff Moots, age 12, of Gallup, New Mexico, for his question: How does a tornado get started? A tornado gets started up there in a stormy sky and where there is one there are likely to be others. Scientists know that certain weather conditions are needed to start them, though they are not sure of all the details. However, they do know that a tornado is the fiercest of all weather events. True, it is quite small, but its winds are stronger than the strongest hurricane. Though a tornado is a very small storm, it belongs to an enormous weather system, which may spread over several states. Often the signs in the sky are ragged, dirty grey clouds blotched with eerie yellow sunlight, strewn around islands of blue. This usually means that trouble in the weathery atmosphere is building up on a huge scale. Imagine a gigantic mass of air. wide enough to spread across several states and tall enough to reach up six or seven miles. It is cool, dry air traveling rather fast and minding its own business. But unfortunately it is not alone up there Jn the sky. Sprawled across its path is a gigantic mass of warm, moist air. Stormy weather builds up when different air masses collide and clash up there in the sky. In tornado weather, the great mass of warm air is thin and light. Bubbles of this light warm air tend to form near the ground and float up- ward in rising currents. The great mass of cooler air is heavier and tends to stay close to the ground. Around the world, such masses of air meet every day. As a rule, the heavier mass wedges its way under the warm air. In tornado weather, this peaceable settlement does not happen. Instead, the two op- posite air mass meet in a head-on collision. The cool heavier air runs up and over the mass of warm, lighter air. This creates a whole skyful of trouble. For the warm light air naturally tries to rise up- ward through the heavier layer above it. Here and there, bubbles and currents of warm air do manage to rise up through the heavier air. But meantime, the spin- ning earth causes the rising air to twist to the right. Its spinning force is so strong that a rising current is twisted around and around like a twirling rope. This is when a twisting tornado gets started. Soon there are pockets of spiralling winds reaching up from the ground to the stormy clouds high overhead. Here and there, a windy pocket spins the grey cloudy material into a funnel, shaped like an elephant's trunk. The grey tip dips down, weaving and wav- ing towards the ground. If it touches the ground, its wild, wild winds plow a path of destruction. In this big weather system, dozens of columns of light warm air try to rise up through the heavier air aloft. Many of them wear themselves out before they get very far. But sad to say, others manage to start breezy pockets of spinning winds. First one, then a series of devastating tornados may strike through several states. asked by chil- dren of Herald readers should be mailed to Ask Andy, P.O. Box. 765, Huntington Beach, California 92648. (Copyright Chronicle Publishing Co. 1973) Flashback By THE CANADIAN PRESS Sept. 25, 1974 The relief of Lucknow, turn- ing point of the Indian Mutiny, took place 117 years ago in 1857 after a four-month siege by Indians. The sister gar- rison of Cawnpore had been massacred two months before. The mutiny was caus- ed generally by British reforms which offended In- dian religious principles and particularly by introductions of a new type of cartridge for Indian soldiers. These were greased with pig and cow fat, offending Hindu and Moslems at one blow. 1775 Ethen Allen captured during attack on Montreal. 1789 U.S. Congress passed Bill of Rights 1st 10 amendments. Goren on Bridge BY CHARLES H. GOREN