Tornadoes Portal

Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms. In an average year, about 1,000 tornadoes are reported across the United States, resulting in 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

Tornadoes come in all shapes and sizes and can occur anywhere in the U.S. at any time of the year. In the southern states, peak tornado season is March through May, while peak months in the northern states are during the summer.

Storm Reports – includes monthly tornado statistics, deadly tornadoes, current severe weather reports and more from the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. Severe Storm Climatology — Where and When Do Severe Thunderstorms Occur? (Storm Animations, Total Threats, Annual Cycles) Severe Weather Information from NOAA’s National Weather Serviceinformation about Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, Floods Tornadoes of the 20th Century — a list of the more notable tornado outbreaks that occurred in the U.S. during the 20th century. Golden Anniversary of Tornado Forecasting: 50 Years of Service to the American People

Highway Overpasses as Tornado Shelters: Fallout From the May 3, 1999 Oklahoma/Kansas Violent Tornado Outbreak

Tornado Climatology — Long-term Averages by State

The April 3-4, 1974 Super Outbreak was the largest known outbreak of tornadoes, with 148 tornadoes in 11 states. This and more Tornado Fast Facts.

VORTEX: Unraveling the Secrets – created by the National Severe Storms Laboratory as a prototype educational site for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Weather Glossary for Storm Spotters

This is the oldest known photo of a tornado. It was taken on
August 28, 1884 near Howard, South Dakota. The name of the photographer is not known.

For more tornado photos and drawings, visit the Severe Storms Laboratory and Historic NWS Albums of NOAA Photo Library – home of more than 30,000 public domain photos.