Archive Report

Spring Storm Season

Twisters Most Common in United States

Tornado season is upon us. The whirlwinds that rank among nature's most destructive phenomena occur most often during the spring in the United States. Violent tornadoes, huge funnels of furiously rotating air, may pack winds of 300 miles per hour, the strongest ever seen on the Earth's surface. Even a “weak” one may carry winds stronger than a hurricane. Most tornadoes last for only a few minutes, and none survives for more than several hours. But in their short lifetimes, these fearsome storms can kill people, level towns and toss automobiles—even train cars—around like toys.

The word “tornado” derives from the Spanish words “tornar” (to turn) and “tronada” (thunderstorm). The most common nicknames for tornado are “twister” and ...

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