Nature's dangerous whirlwinds: Learning the difference between 5 types of tornadoes

Supercell

Multiple vortexes

Waterspout / Landspout

Gustnado

Fascinating Facts About Tornados

  1. The United States experiences an average of around 1200 tornadoes each year.

  2. Twisters usually strike along Tornado Alley — a flat stretch of land from western Texas to North Dakota. The dry polar air from Canada meets the warm moist tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico, creating the perfect conditions for a twister and making this a hotspot for this activity.

  3. Funnel clouds usually last for less than ten minutes before dissipating.

  4. Tornadoes can occur at any time but are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 pm.

  5. North America's geography makes it particularly vulnerable to destructive twisters.

  6. A tornado 'watch' means that there is a possibility of a hurricane while a warning means that a storm is underway and you should take cover immediately.

  7. Considered the longest-lasting tornado on record, on March 18, 1925, a storm smashed its way 219 miles in three hours and went through southeastern Missouri, Southern parts of Illinois and Indiana. It left close to 700 people in its wake.

  8. During a tornado, underground basements are the safest places to be.

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