What’s worse: a hurricane or a tornado?


(phone ringing) – Hi, it’s Doug. I recently had a chance to step inside this thing called a Hurricane Simulator. It’s a machine that creates
winds up to 80 miles an hour, just like in a real hurricane. Now, unlike a real hurricane,
there’s no danger involved, so standing in this thing
was actually kinda fun. I definitely would not want to experience a hurricane in real life. Someone named Mira has a
question about hurricanes. Let’s give her a call now. (phone ringing) Hi Mira. – Hi Doug. I have a question for you. What’s worse, a hurricane or a tornado? – That’s a great question. Before I say anything,
stop and think about this. Which one do you think is
worse, a hurricane or tornado? Now would be a good time to
pause the video and discuss. Okay, you ready? When I first thought about this question, I thought, for sure a
hurricane has to be worse. In a previous episode about hurricanes, I showed you how a
hurricane is a huge storm, sometimes bigger than an entire state. We also saw just how strong
a hurricane’s winds are. Strong enough to knock down power lines, break windows, even rip
the roofs off of houses. Look at that. And that’s not all hurricanes do, either. Hurricanes cause flooding,
both because of heavy rain, and their strong winds push ocean waves far up onto the shore. But are hurricanes worse than tornadoes? To figure out the answer, we
have to look to meteorologists. Those are scientists
who study the weather. They’ve thought about this question a lot, and they’ve noticed that tornadoes and hurricanes are both really bad storms, each in their own ways. To say which one is worse
depends what you mean by worse. For example, if by worse you mean which one has stronger winds, well, you might think
hurricanes have stronger winds, since hurricanes are bigger storms. Meteorologists measure the
wind speed of both of these, and they’ve discovered
that hurricane winds can reach as high as 150 mph. But here’s what’s surprising:
even the smallest tornadoes, like this one, have incredible winds, sometimes winds that blow over
350 mph, that’s way stronger. So, when it comes to the
strength of their winds, tornadoes are actually
worse than hurricanes. But strong winds aren’t the only way to consider what’s worse. What about how much harm they do? Sadly, both hurricanes and
tornadoes harm people every year. But, by keeping track of the numbers, meteorologists have
discovered that tornadoes cause more deaths than hurricanes. Partly, that’s because tornadoes happen so much more often than hurricanes do. By checking meteorologists websites, we can find out that there
are over 1,000 tornadoes every year, but each year only
about 10 hurricanes happen. There’s another reason why
tornadoes might harm more people, and that’s because tornadoes
are hard to predict. They happen so suddenly
that people don’t always have time to get out of the way. So, tornadoes have stronger winds and they do more harm to
people than hurricanes do. So far, it’s sounding like tornadoes are worse than hurricanes. But there’s still one way that hurricanes could be considered worse than tornadoes. We have to think about what happens after a hurricane or tornado,
when people come back and find their cars, their homes, sometimes almost everything
they own just gone. That’s when they have to clean up the mess and start rebuilding. Sometimes, people even have
to rebuild entire cities. All of that is the damage caused
by a hurricane or tornado. Because hurricanes are
so much bigger in size than tornadoes, they
wind up doing more damage to homes and buildings. In fact, it costs more
money to fix the damage from one hurricane than
it does to fix the damage from all the tornadoes in an entire year. So in summary, hurricanes and tornadoes are both storms you
wouldn’t want to mess with. Hurricanes are larger,
so they cause more damage to people’s homes and buildings, but tornadoes have stronger
winds and they harm more people. Which is worse? The answer really depends on which of these different things you consider. That’s all for this weeks question, thanks Mira for asking it. Now for the next episode,
I reached in to my question jar and found three questions submitted to me that I’m
thinking about answering. When this video is done playing,
you’ll get to vote on one. You can choose from, how is gold made? How do clocks work? Or, where do fish sleep? So submit your vote when the videos over. I wanna from all of you watching. There are mysteries all around us. Stay curious, and see you next week.

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