Dealing w/ Tornados

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How basically do ATP pro pilots and airlines deal
with all these tornados in the OK and Kansas etc area
going on now ?
Do they just avoid it like do with thunderstorms and give wide
berth ?
What is usually tops of a Tornado ?
Do they show up on the cockpit WX radar ?
Can the airlines fly high up over them and not be affected if
they are just overflying ?

It seems with so many going on in midwest that airlines would
be grounded or cancelling lots of flights into/out of Oklahoma
City and other airports.

How do they work thru this tornadic weather ?

-- jim kenn, May 20, 2010


Weather radar displays precipitation, so I don't think it would show a tornado. says that a tornado is generally connected to a thunderstorm cloud (cumulonimbus), which is the kind of thing that airline pilots avoid by (a) looking out the window, (b) looking at the onboard radar, and (c) talking to ATC. The Wikipedia article says that the tornado goes from the cloud to the ground, so flying over the top of the cloud should be reasonably safe.

-- Philip Greenspun, May 20, 2010