Every year tornadoes cause devastating damage. Tornado winds can reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. The winds are so powerful a tornado can destroy buildings and even toss cars hundreds of feet. The pressure or suction of the tornado can create damage over large swathes of land from a mile to 50 miles wide.
Although tornadoes happen all over the world, the United States suffers the worst of the tornado damage with up to 1,000 tornadoes hitting the ground every year. This infographic offers some insights into the anatomy of a tornado.
A tornado is a swirling column of air that has its origin in a thunderstorm. A tornado extends from the thunderstorm to the ground beneath it. Large hailstones often form a part of this violent weather system. The worst, most damaging tornadoes are born in supercells, which are large storms where the winds are already rotating. They happen when cold, dry air hits warm, wet air. They are most common in the late afternoon.
Tornadoes are some of the most dangerous storms on earth which is why the weather office strives to warn populations of their arrival and the expected severity of the strike. They are classified under six different measures of severity. Tornado severity is expected to keep rising as long as climate change remains an issue, which is why we can’t blow the carbon budget.