Participants at a GIFT workshop (Credit: Jane Robb/EGU)

Educational resource Using supercomputers to simulate supertornadoes

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European Geosciences Union

Using supercomputers to simulate supertornadoes

Associated divisions
Atmospheric Sciences (AS)
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI)
Geosciences Instrumentation and Data Systems (GI)


Age groups

Material needed
You will need the article and activity sheet, both of which are provided in the file to download.

Type of activities
Practical Work


The US experiences around 1,200 tornadoes a year. Impress your students with this atmospheric science resource, which explains how tornadoes are formed, why some turn into supertornadoes and why scientists are creating simulations of them on supercomputers. Included is a summary of a current research project, an interview with atmospheric scientist Dr Leigh Orf and a career guide for students interested in atmospheric science. The activity sheet includes discussion points – seven questions the students can answer in groups of individually – links to videos of Leigh’s simulations and instructions on how to carry out a simple experiment in atmospheric pressure.