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Tornado Basic Information

Just what is a tornado? How does it form? Where do tornadoes tend to be found? Learn more about these fascinating whirlwinds!

Tornadoes are primarily found in the US, and in the US they tend to appear in a 'belt' around the Kansas area. There's a reason the Wizard of Oz and its tornado were set there!

A tornado forms under the massive clouds of a thunderstorm. Tornado hunters look for the classic anvil shape of a thunderstorm moving through air. In the spring and summer, as these tornadoes reach their strongest power, tornadoes form on the southwestern side of the cloud, as air gets sucked up from the ground. The air begins to form a spiral shape that gets stronger and stronger, and forms the tornado cone.

A tornado can last from just a few seconds to over an hour, depending on the atmospheric conditions. The winds in a tornado can reach an incredible 300 mph.

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