30 Mind-Twisting Tornado Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
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tornado facts

Before we jump straight into the list of tornado facts, we will like to say, “beautiful but destructive, mean and long, a tornado is Mother Nature’s one of the most amazing creations“. No matter how fascinating and beautiful they are, they are definitely not human-friendly.

The magnetic beauty of the tornadoes have attracted many people so much that they decided to take a look at one of them up and close! Scientists take precautionary measures but everyone’s not that safety-savvy and thereby ends up exposing themselves to the wrath these tornadoes bring along.

All of those who decided to get a closer look at the tornadoes without hooking themselves up with safety features eventually ended up dead.

Did we just manage to bore you to death? Okay! That’s sad! Let’s not waste time any further and learn 30 mind-twisting tornado facts. Ready?

Mind-Twisting Tornado Facts: 1-5

tornado facts
This image comes with ‘free for commercial use’ license and has been sourced from Pixabay.

1. Super cells are the sources of tornadoes. Super cells are nothing but thunderstorms that are enormously big.

2. A tornado is actually a fast-moving, turbulent and strong air column that stays in contact with the earth. This column of air that resembles a funnel is known as vortex and its bottom end that stays in touch with earth has a cloud of debris and dust surrounding it.

3. The whirling wind in a tornado can reach a speed of 300 miles per hour but usually stays anywhere between 110 and 300 mph. It is this wind speed that gives a tornado its destructive power.

4. The duration a tornado will last depends of various factors. Usually, some of the tornadoes are found to last for only a few minutes but they can last up to 2 hours. In extreme cases, a tornado can last up to 4 hours. Anything greater than a few minutes is never good news.

5. Tornadoes can be really tall. They can reach the height of 75 feet!

Mind-Twisting Tornado Facts: 6-10

tornado facts
This image comes with ‘free for commercial use’ license and has been sourced from Pixabay.

6. Tornadoes move forward and they can actually move at a speed of 73 miles or 117 kilometers an hour.

7. Long-lasting tornadoes can leave a destruction trail which can be 50 miles long and 1 mile wide.

8. Tornadoes have categories based on their destructive force.

9. Their destructive force is measured using Fujita Scale and are categorized as F1, F2, F3, F4 or F5 category tornadoes.

10. F5s are terrible and the worst of the lot! They are THE MOST destructive tornadoes known to humans. There are several factors that are considered while categorizing these nasty fellows such as duration, distance travel, wind speed and more.

Mind-Twisting Tornado Facts: 11-15

tornado facts
This image comes with ‘free for commercial use’ license and has been sourced from Pixabay.

11. In 1925, United States was hit by an F5 tornado that lasted for nearly 3.5 hours and traveled a distance of 219 miles. The tornado passed through parts of Illinois, Missouri and Indiana and is popular by the name Tri-State Tornado.

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12. Tornadoes die just like everything else on this earth. They will last as long as their source of air exists. A tornado is associated with rainfall. This rain drags a region of rapidly descending air region, which scientists call as RFD or rear flank downdraft. This drag in turn drags the area of organized rotation known as the Meso cyclone of the super cell from which the tornado originated. This drag eventually cools down the RFD and chokes the tornado by cutting off the warm air source and thereby dissipating the tornado.

13. Tornadoes do not have any consistent shape or structure. They can be long and thin like ropes or they can be wide and spiral.

14. Tornadoes can occur over water bodies. These tornadoes are known as waterspout tornadoes. There may be multiple-vortex tornadoes!

15. There is no open area that can be considered as tornado-safe. Some people believe that areas near mountains, rivers and lakes are safe but that’s just a myth. Tornadoes can occur just anywhere!

Mind-Twisting Tornado Facts: 16-20

16. A tornado will look transparent when it starts until it actually hits the earth and starts picking up mud, dust and other debris.

17. When a tornado just starts rising, the sky takes a characteristic greenish hue. Scientists make use of Pulse-Doppler radar for detecting tornadoes. Data collection by this radar is based on the study of surrounding air reflectivity and velocity. Scientists also look for hook echoes and debris ball effects for detecting tornadoes.

18. Tornadoes usually spin in cyclonic direction however, some of these bad guys have been found to rotate in anticyclonic direction.

19. Cyclonic spin is characterized by clockwise spin in southern hemisphere and anticlockwise spin in northern hemisphere. Anticyclonic on the other hand is a ridge or high pressure circulation in southern and northern hemisphere.

20. The fastest winds on earth are found in tornadoes forming condensed water funnel.

Mind-Twisting Tornado Facts: 21-25

tornado facts
Huge waterspout over the port of Genova, Italy | We have a commercial license for this image from Envato Elements. Please do not use this image without a proper license. Please avoid copyright lawsuits.

21. There is no specific time for tornado occurrences and a tornado can hit anytime throughout the year. However, the frequency of tornado occurrences is at its peak between April and May.

22. Tornadoes will usually travel a few miles before they die out.

23. Around 1200 tornadoes hit United States every year.

24. Bangladesh was hit by the most destructive tornado ever recorded in entire world. The tornado claimed more than 1300 lives and had hit Bangladesh in 1989 on April 26.

25. That tornado left a trail of complete devastation within 6 square kilometers. Except for a few tree skeletons, no other standing infrastructures were found.

Mind-Twisting Tornado Facts: 26-30

tornado facts
Waterspout or tornado that was observed over the Pacific Ocean near Costa Rica | We have a commercial license for this image from Envato Elements. Please do not use this image without a proper license. Please avoid copyright lawsuits.

26. Bangladesh ranks 3rd in terms of frequency of tornadoes. US ranks first followed by Canada.

27. Tornadoes also go by the name of Twisters.

28. The best place to hide during a tornado is a basement or any underground area.

29. It is widely believed that a tornado can make a house explode if a low pressure is developed inside the tornado. The actual fact is that the debris inside a tornado slams against house causing greater structural damage.

30. The noise made by tornadoes vary and depend on the objects they pick and carry along their path. Tornadoes moving along open plain have little noise to offer.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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7 comments

Ayden May 27, 2017 - 12:58 am

Which state in the USA gets hit by the most tornadoes?

Reply
Landon May 27, 2017 - 1:00 am

They mostly hit Olklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.

Reply
Sarah Baxter November 28, 2017 - 1:34 am

Yes, they mostly hit Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.

Reply
katie February 24, 2018 - 1:41 am

they also mostly hit Florida, too

Reply
laila May 21, 2019 - 7:55 pm

Actually katie, you won’t see a nado in florida. Florida is not in tornado alley. You will most likely see a hurricane, tropical storm, or water spout.

Reply
laila May 21, 2019 - 7:56 pm

Actually katie, you won’t see a nado in florida. Florida is not in tornado alley. You will most likely see a hurricane, tropical storm, or water spout.

Reply
Donnie March 27, 2020 - 6:37 pm

Florida experiences an average of 55 tornados a year, making It 4th in the USA for most twisters per year. Just because we have LARGE tornadoes often here in the alley, States with an abundance of smaller tornadoes can easily beat those numbers. FYI, I have experienced several hurricanes in my life and I have never seen one that didnt pop twisters in the outer bands…

Reply

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