· Spinning column of air
· Associated with strong updraught and
turbulence in the atmosphere (e.g.
· Can last up to an hour or more
· Winds up to 200 miles per hour
· 689 people died from 18 March 1925
A tornado is a rapidly spinning column of air which forms
within a parent cumulonimbus cloud. An average width of
their destructive path is 50m although can reach 2km
wide. They can last from seconds to over an hour, often
covering over a few km. The most extreme winds are
thought to be over 400 km/hour although this is difficult to
measure. More than 50 tornados hit central Oklahoma on
3 May 1999 and 40 people died. Death tolls are lower
today than decades ago since forecasting and warnings are
far better these days.