Tornadoes are threatening and dangerous because they can cause property damage and harm to people, but knowing the facts about twisters may help in the preparation for dangerous situations.
Here are 10 unbelievable tornado facts:
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Although tornadoes mostly affect Tornado Alley, areas from west Texas to North Dakota, the violent storms can happen anywhere in the world, according to LiveScience
. The U.S. has more tornadoes than anywhere in the world, getting hit with about 1,000 each year.
Tornado season occurs from early spring to mid-summer, but tornadoes can appear anytime warm and cool temperatures collide.
Winds from tornadoes can exceed 300 miles per hour, lifting animals, cars, and mobile homes into the air, CNN notes, adding that most tornadoes
move slower than 35 miles per hour and last for a few minutes.
Some tornadoes can last for more than an hour, according to the NOAA’s National Weather Service
The sounds of tornadoes may differ, depending on each one. They often cause a rumbling, like a train. But they also can sound similar to a waterfall or produce a multitude of loud noises that make a frightening roar.
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Supercells, which are rotating thunderstorms, produce the most destructive and deadly tornadoes that can include severe hail storms, frequent lightning, and flash flooding.
The most violent tornadoes, measured at F4 or above on the Fujita scale of F0 to F5, make up only 1 percent of tornadoes but are responsible for 70 percent of tornado deaths, says LiveScience.
Tornadoes have higher wind speeds than hurricanes, but they cause damage over smaller areas because of their smaller size.
The worst tornado outbreak occurred April 3, 1974, when 147 tornadoes took the lives of 308 people throughout 13 states. The deadliest single tornado killed 695 people on March 18, 1925, when it struck along Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
There are small tornadoes called dust devils. They can be 10 feet wide and less than 300 feet high, according to tornado facts cited by Encyclopedia.com
. Some large dust devils may cause property damage, but the more common dust devils cause no harm to people or structure damage.
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