Tornado Facts


  • A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
  • Tornadoes are capable of destoying homes and vehicles and can cause fatalities.
  • Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30mph, but the forward speed can vary from stationary to 70mph.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms or hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
  • Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year.
  • Tornadoes have occurred in all 50 states.  However, they are most frequent east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer months.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3p.m. and 9p.m. but can happen at any time.