Facts About Tornadoes

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. They are created by powerful thunderstorms.

Tornadoes are characterized by their funnel shape, extending to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. The tornadoes path of damage can go for over a mile wide and 50 miles long.

Tornadoes sometimes develop so fast that there’s usually very little time for advance warning.

Here are some markers. Before a tornado strikes, the wind may decrease or even die down. The air may become very still. Before the funnel shape of the tornado can be seen, a cloud of debris can pinpoint the location of the tornado. Tornadoes usually happen near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. You can typically see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, meaning you can really see the funnel shape of swirling air and debris. Some tornadoes on the other hand are obscured buy low hanging clouds.

Other important facts about tornadoes:

Tornadoes generally move southwest to Northeast. But they are known to move in any direction.

Tornadoes have an average forward speed of 30 MPH, but their speeds vary from fixed to 70 MPH.

Tropical storms and hurricanes can come with tornadoes as they make their way to land.

Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.

In the United States, reports of tornadoes are most often from east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer.

In the Southern States, the peak tornado season is between March to May. Up north, the peak season is from late spring through early summer.

Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3-9 pm. But tornadoes can occur any time.

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