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This lesson provides interesting tornadoes facts for kids. Read through the lesson to know more tornadoes facts.


Tornadoes Facts


Tornadoes are extremely powerful, swirling winds. It is a dark cloud that is shaped like a funnel and pointed toward the ground. Tornadoes cause damage when the bottom of the funnel touches the ground. Tornadoes are more powerful than hurricanes.

storms tornadoes


How tornadoes form;


Tornadoes occur always during the rainy seasons. Thunderstorms often produce tornadoe situations. They drop down from the bottoms of storm clouds. Tornadoes are waterspout clouds. Tornado winds blow in a circle. Like a hurricane, a tornado is powered by rising humid air. Thus tornadoes develop in low pressure regions. Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes can be found far inland.


Characteristics of a tornado


  • A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
  • In the ground area we can see a narrow column of swirling air. This is the tail of a tornado and it is the most dangerous part.
  • Therefore a tornado is a dark cloud that is shaped like a funnel and pointed toward the ground.
  • A tornado travels across the land at speeds of 30 to 65 kph.
  • The wind speed inside the tornado can reach 800 kph.
  • A tornado travels for more than 200 km before it uses up all its energy.


Destruction of Tornadoes


Tornado wind move with a great speed. A large tornado destroys everything in its path when the swirling tail of it touches the ground. It sucks up dust and dirt. It tears roofs off of houses. It smashes brick buildings. It picks up cars and trucks. People can be badly hurt or killed by flying wood, glass, and other things blowing around in a tornado. Tornadoes affect only a small area and last for several hours or only for few minutes. But tornadoes are the most destructive kind of weather. Early warnings about tornadoes could save many lives.


tornadoes facts


Tornado Safety: Things that you should do if a tornado comes


  • You should find shelter right away if you hear a tornado warning.
  • Go to a basement (underground room) if you can.
  • If you can’t get to a basement, get into an inside hallway, or a bathroom in the middle of the house
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of mobile homes and cars. Tornadoes can blow them away.
  • Get out of auditoriums, gymnasiums, supermarkets, and other buildings with big roofs. The roofs could fall down in a tornado.
  • If you are outside, lie flat in a ditch and cover your head to protect it from wood, glass, and other things flying around in the air.


Types of tornadoes


There is a scale to tell how powerful a tornado is. The scale goes from F0 to F5. According to that there are three main types of tornadoes.

1. Weak tornadoes             2. Strong tornadoes        3. Violent tornadoes


Weak tornadoes are F0 and F1.

Strong tornadoes are F2 to F4.

Violent tornadoes are F5.


Weak and strong tornadoes cannot level down the houses and buildings. They may damage chimneys and break tree branches. But violent tornadoes can pick up houses off the ground and strip the bark off of trees.


Are there tornadoes all over the world?


Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world. But they occur very frequently and most destructively in the USA. In the United States tornado wind are often called ‘twisters’. In an average year sometimes it has been reported in the USA about 1000 tornado winds have occurred. That is why in the USA, in every state, government has set up tornado warning stations to be in alert and give warnings for the people in these areas. Tornado Alley is a place in the Midwestern United States where many tornado winds form. Canada, Argentina, China, Australia, South-west Asia and Europe are the other places where tornado winds can happen regularly.

What are waterspouts?
If a tornado forms over a lake or the sea it is called a waterspout. These last only a few minutes and less powerful than land tornado winds. But some waterspouts have wrecked boats, jetties and houses along the coast.


Hope this article helps a great deal to know about tornadoes facts. Also read facts about Hurricanes.