Unpredictable forces of nature like tornadoes and hurricanes can have a devastating impact on humans and our environment. Learn how natural disasters work and how science aims to better predict them.

Can you really outrun a tornado?

A tornado warning has just been activated in your area. Should you hunker down where you are, or should you hop in your vehicle and drive away? Trying to outrun a tornado sounds like a reasonable idea, but is it really?

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  • Fact or Fiction: Earthquakes

    Fact or Fiction: Earthquakes

    Earthquakes, like volcanoes, happen all the time -- but most of them are so minor we can't even feel them. They're also similar to volcanoes in that we can't fully predict them, and scientists are always waiting for the next big one to occur. See more »

  • Guide to Wildfire Safety

    Guide to Wildfire Safety

    With wildfires, prevention is the best medicine. The best way to protect your home is to make sure you never start a fire. But wildfires are inevitable in some areas, so how do you keep your family and property safe? See more »

  • How a Sharknado Would Work

    How a Sharknado Would Work

    It's hard to resist a movie where bloodthirsty beasts fall from the sky, especially if Ian Ziering stars! How might the science behind this B movie work? See more »

  • How Avalanches Work

    How Avalanches Work

    Learn how avalanches form, how long you can stay alive while buried under an avalanche and what steps you can take to survive. See more »

  • How can rocks predict earthquakes?

    How can rocks predict earthquakes?

    We can predict hurricanes days in advance. We know when a volcano is about to blow its lid. But we still can't tell when an earthquake's going to shake things up. In their search for an answer, scientists have turned to an unlikely source: rocks. See more »

  • How Drought Works

    How Drought Works

    What happens when the rains cease and water levels dry up precipitously? Everything from abundant grasses to apex predators suffers the consequences. See more »

  • How Earthquakes Work

    How Earthquakes Work

    An earthquake is one of the most terrifying phenomena that nature can dish up. We generally think of the ground we stand on as "rock-solid" and completely stable. An earthquake can shatter that perception instantly, and often with extreme violence. See more »

  • How Fire Tornadoes Work

    How Fire Tornadoes Work

    Inject heat, ash and fire into a spinning mass of air. Watch as a funnel of flames leaps from the ground, reaches for the heavens and then races forward to consume everything in its path. Is such a phenomenon possible? See more »

  • How Floods Work

    How Floods Work

    Flooding has claimed more lives than any other natural disaster. Find out how a gentle stream becomes a raging torrent. See more »

  • How Hurricanes Work

    How Hurricanes Work

    How often have you watched a weather forecaster point to a spiral-shaped cloudy mass with a sense of dread and fascination? What fuels these ferocious storms? See more »

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