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Tornadoes regularly destroy homes in Minnesota

Live in Minnesota long enough, and sooner or later you will hear the sirens that warn about approaching severe weather. Homeowners know this could mean severe thunderstorm, hail, or even a possible tornado is coming.

Fortunately, tornadoes are relatively rare, but when they do strike, they can cause terrible damage. Most tragic is when lives are lost or people are seriously hurt when caught in a tornado. But losing your house to a storm can be life-shattering.

As the National Severe Storms Laboratory’s website explains, a tornado is a narrow column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes rotate violently, and are considered the most violent of all types of atmospheric storms.

Around 1,200 tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year. The central part of the country, including part of Minnesota, is known as “Tornado Alley” because of its relatively high tornado rate. However, tornadoes strike throughout the country, and indeed around the world. According to the NSSL, two countries other than the U.S. with high concentrations of tornadoes are Argentina and Bangladesh, which suggests how widespread they are.

What causes tornadoes? It is believed that they come from supercells, which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation. The tornado seems to form around the circulation, which is called a mesocyclone. Just why is not known, but some believe it has to do with temperature differences across the edge of downdraft air that surrounds the mesocyclone.

Most homeowners don’t care much about the science of tornadoes, they only care about how they will fix their home if a tornado ever hits it. If the worst does occur, hopefully the insurance company will make a fair settlement offer. If not, the homeowner may need the help of an attorney.

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