Climate Detectives Projects 2018-2019

Project topic: Extreme weather

Project title: Could tornadoes ever appear in Dej?

Team: Tornadoes Researchers

2018-2019   Tornadoes Researchers   dej   Romania   6 Student’s age: 14-15

Summary of the project

Our team decided to investigate the possibility that tornadoes appear in our village, Dej. In the past, in our town only storms came out. Some of them were really strong and determined important damages. On the other hand, tornadoes became more frequent in our country. Few people have information about tornadoes and their conditions of appearance. More important, people generally have no idea how to protect them and their belongings if a tornado ever appear. Therefore, we considered important to investigate this climate issue and to educate people to protect themselves. In this project we used different methods. First we gathered some information about storms, tornadoes and hurricanes. We bought a device and measured daily at 4 p.m. the temperature, pressure and humidity of the air, from 15th January to 12th April. We visited daily the site of our local weather station and wrote down their results in the same period of time. We looked after the data of the latest storms in Dej and tornadoes in Romania in on-line journals. We searched then the data registered by the local or the nearest weather stations and wrote these down. We also visit the weather station in Dej and see the existing devices and use some of them for measurements.

Main results

The information about the weather phenomena investigated (storms, tornadoes and hurricanes), lead us to the conclusion that the temperature, pressure and humidity of the air are important factors that can influence their occurance. We compared the results of our measurements with those obtained by the local weather station and we found out some little differences. We also compared the data registered during the storms in Dej with the data registered during tornadoes and found out that they are very similar. For instance, we noticed that during the storms in Dej, wind speed frequently reached 50 m/s and predominate different Cumulonimbus clouds at altitudes of 600 – 1000 m. The speed and direction of the wind in Dej is changing very much during the same day, any month of the year .We also noticed recorded similar parameters and their variations during the tornadoes that appeared in Romania. The only tornado during which the clouds were situated lower than 300 m altitude was that of Năimeşti (jud. Bihor ). Due to both the global warming and the increasing gap between the temperature recorded on the ground and the temperature at altitude and the similar conditions recorded during the storms and tornadoes, we concluded that tornadoes may occur in Dej.

Actions to help lessen the problem

In order to make a difference we organized activities in school and outside it to promote our project and the results of our research. We designed an emblem of our team, a poster and a folder with information on tornadoes that contains pieces of advice about how to monitor weather conditions and how to protect us from the consequences of tornadoes. The poster and the folder call people’s attention on the connection between pollution, global warming and the frequency and intensity of tornadoes. The folder and the poster also give counsels about how to protect ourselves against tornadoes. Some of them refer to actions before tornadoes: to use less the car, in order to reduce pollution, to protect the forests, to use strong materials for buildings. Other counsels refer to actions during tornadoes, to find safe places for people and animals (in the middle of the house) or for cars (far away from trees or forests) We delivered our folders to plenty of passers – by met in the street and disseminated the poster on facebook.

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