Sharksnado is a made-for-TV disaster movie that was a cult hit for Syfy. It starred former Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering and American Pie actress Tara Reid as surfers trying to save the beach from tornadoes full of sharks.
The original film garnered a lot of attention on social media. With celebrities like Mia Farrow and Josh Gad posting retweets and Facebook comments about it. But it was a little too campy and didn’t really work as a disaster movie.
A Cyclone Hits Los Angeles
A cyclone is a large air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure. Usually counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere as viewed from above. The storms are called cyclonic storms, tropical depressions, hurricanes or typhoons depending on their severity and location.
Typically, hurricanes and typhoons are formed when rotating thunderstorms form a system of spiral rainbands in the centre of the cyclone. These bands of deep convective cells (compact regions of vertical air movement) transport heat 15 km or more into the atmosphere, where it is then used as a fuel for the huge heat engine that drives the cyclone.
Realm of Possibility
While a storm of this nature is not completely out of the realm of possibility, the California current keeps the water temperature much cooler than it needs to be to fuel a hurricane, so it is unlikely that a strong tropical storm would ever make landfall in the Los Angeles area.
Sharks Attack the City
Sharksnado are one of the most feared creatures in the ocean. They are also one of the most effective predators, able to capture large prey items such as marine mammals, sea turtles and fishes.
Shark attacks on humans are rare, although they are common in some regions. There are three major kinds of unprovoked shark attacks: “hit and run,” “bump and bite” and “sneak.”
Swimmers & Surfers
In a hit-and-run attack, the Sharksnado strikes its victim and runs away. These attacks are typically seen in the surf zone where swimmers and surfers are often the targets.
The Sharksnado probably does not recognise the victim, but instead, mistakenly misinterprets the individual for another type of animal. This can be a seal or a sea lion, which are two of its favorite foods.
A Tornado Forms
When warm, moist air meets cool dry air it creates instability in the atmosphere. When this happens it allows wind to change direction and speed with height, which promotes the spinning of air in a storm cell.
Eventually, the winds in a thunderstorm start to form a strong updraft. As the updraft gets stronger, it sucks more warm air from the ground. The funnel of swirling air starts to get longer and wider and eventually reaches the ground, causing damage.
Rising & Sinking Gusts
A Sharksnado can happen most anywhere, but it is more likely in areas known as Tornado Alley in the United States. It doesn’t matter if the weather is sunny or cloudy, if there are enough rising and sinking gusts of air near the ground it can spin.
For the Sharksnado to form it needs three things – instability, wind shear and rotation. Thankfully, scientists are able to detect the onset of tornado formation before it reaches its full potential.
Sharks Attack the Tornado
A Sharksnado is a tornado that rains a lot of sharks. It happens naturally in nature but it’s also a popular film idea.
“Sharksnado are pretty big,” Harold Brooks, a meteorologist at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory told Mother Jones magazine in 2013. A waterspout could lift up a great white, but it would be hard to carry the animal on top of a tornado.
Even if the twister was powerful enough to hold a shark aloft, it might suffocate the fish due to the rotating debris of wood and metal in the air.
While sharks aren’t a common threat, they can bite if they get into a fight and they’re known to be fierce hunters. That’s why it’s important to keep your pets safe, especially if you have kids. It’s also a good idea to make sure your children know what to do in case of a disaster. That way, they can help their parents and others in need.