Interesting facts about tornadoes

March 15, 2012 | In: Nature Facts

tornadoesTornadoes are extremely violent storms in which the wind speed can reach 300 miles per hour(460 km/h). At this speed, imagine a piece of paper cutting of a 10 cm thick tree. These winds are so powerful, that they can lift an entire apartment block in the air. The interesting thing about tornadoes is that they can occur almost anywhere, if the conditions are right. A tornado needs two things to take place: moist warm air and cool dry air. The combination of these two ingredients creates a very unstable atmosphere. When the opposite types of air collide with each other, with different speeds, the tornado appears.

Most of the American tornadoes are around 500 ft(150 m) across and stay on the ground for 5 miles(8 km). The biggest tornado in the world was the Tri-State Tornado, which affected Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, that took place on March 18, 1925. It was in the ground continuously for 219 miles(352 km).

From the 3rd to the 4th of April, 1974, in eastern North America no more than 148 tornadoes occurred, resulting in 319 deaths in 24 hours.

When the tornadoes get bigger, they turn into Hurricanes. From hurricanes spawn tornadoes. The largest number of tornadoes spawned from a hurricane is 117, from Hurricane Ivan, in 2004.

The deadliest single-tornado is the Tri-State Tornado, with a combined death toll of 747, across the Mississippi River Valley.

The most damaging tornado was the St-Louis Tornado, which occurred in May 27, 1896 incurred the most damages, in a total of 2.9 billion dollars.

Although tornadoes can occur in almost any place on Earth, the statistics show that the US is the most common place where they happen, usually not in big cities. I guess that’s a good thing, don’t you?

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