Tornado formation is one of science’s greatest mysteries. The exact mechanisms for how tornadoes form are not fully known, but the mystery is slowly finding more and more solutions to the puzzle.
Tornado formation though, is something that can be anticipated with storms as we know quite a lot already. Supercells, or storms with rotating updrafts, are the type of storm which generally spawn tornadoes.
The rear flank downdraft wrapping around a low level mesocyclone is thought to be a crucial part of the tornado formation process as well.
Here’s a look at some of the basics into what makes a tornado happen within a thunderstorm, most specifically the supercell tornado process.