Twisted Tornado Facts

If you’ve ever wondered what the longest lasting tornado is, the strongest wind speed ever recorded in a tornado, or any other crazy tornado facts, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at some of the most insane tornado facts below!

  • Widest Damage Path: May 31, 2013, the deadly El Reno tornado. According to mobile radar estimates, this multi-vortex tornado expanded to a record 2.6 miles wide when it passed south of El Reno.

  • Strongest wind speed ever recorded in a tornado was 318 mph, estimated by a mobile doppler radar (Doppler on Wheels) that measured that wind speed about 100 feet above the ground.

  • The most tornadoes that have ever occurred in one month was 758 tornadoes that were confirmed in April 2011.

  • The most tornadoes in one year was set in 2004, with a total of 1,817 confirmed tornadoes.

  • There have been documented tornadoes in every state.

  • Though some seasons are more prevalent for tornadoes, tornadoes can occur any time of the year if conditions are conducive.

  • Most tornadoes last less than 10 minutes, but some can last for more than an hour.

  • Costliest tornado: The Joplin, Missouri tornado of May 22, 2011 with a total cost of $2.8 billion.

  • Highest Elevation tornado: On July 7, 2004, a hiker photographed a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park, California.

Have you ever had an experience with a tornado in your life? Tell us your story in the comments below!


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2 Comments


  1. I don’t have any experience with a tornado, but a severe thunderstorm that occurred on September 11, 2013 did some impressive damage and is one of the events that gave my interest in the weather a shot of steroids and transformed me into the real weather nerd I’ve become. That storm snapped several trees in my neighborhood (I heard the snaps, as I was watching the storm from a utility shed, lightning flashing at a frequency of 50/minute), and about 8 miles west, at my family’s camp on Alford Lake, the storm blew down 48 trees in an area half the size of a football field (8 of them coming down on the building, which didn’t get immediately crushed, but did have to be taken down and rebuilt).

  2. In 1964 we stayed in bed (I was 4) as a tornado passed over our home. It had been raining very hard, stopped, and got very quiet before getting very loud. The walls shook. I don’t believe my parents had any idea what had just almost happened.