Tornado Fun Facts

Tornadoes are one of the most violent weather events on our planet. There are some interesting tornado facts that everyone will find fun and amazing. We put together this tornado fun facts web page to help make it fun to learn about tornadoes.

It's important to remember that tornadoes are very dangerous, and you should never try to photograph or film one unless you're a professional storm chaser. You can also learn about some of the common tornado myths floating around. If you know of fun or interesting tornado facts that should appear on this page contact us and let us know.

  • Over two thousand tornadoes occur worldwide each year, with the majority of these tornadoes occurring in the United States, which means 3 out of 4 tornadoes occurring in the United States.
  • The term tornado alley refers to an area or region that has a high occurrence of tornadoes.
  • The tornado scale used to measure tornadoes in the U.S. is the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which replaced the original Fujita Scale in 2007.
  • About 80% of all tornadoes that occur in the United States are EF0 and EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, less than 1% of all tornadoes in the United States are in the violent EF4 or EF5 category.
  • The most recording breaking tornado in history was the Tri-State Tornado. It traveled for 235 miles and last for over 3 hours before dissipating, with winds reaching near 300 miles per hour.
  • Tornado warnings have a 70% false alarm rate.
  • The British were driven out of Washington D.C. on August 25th, 1814 due to a tornado. This was likely what prevented the British from doing any more damage to Washington DC. The day before the tornado struck the British burned the White House and a large part of the city.
  • While a tornado can occur at any time they most frequently occur between 3:00pm and 9:00pm.
  • During the Dixie Tornado outbreak a home was completely destroyed in Columbiana, but a kitchen tablet that was in the home remained standing upright and had 36 unbroken eggs on top of it.
  • Alaska has been struck by tornadoes, but only 2 have been recorded, once in 1950 and once in 2006. Both tornadoes were only F0/EF0 on the tornado scale.
  • The largest tornado outbreak was in 2011 on April 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th. The National Weather Service reported a total of 355 tornadoes during this 4-day timespan.
  • A tornado that struck Great Bend, Kansas in 1915 had driven wooden splinters into an iron fire hydrant. Imagine that, wooden splinters driven into a cast iron fire hydrant!
  • The first tornado ever recorded in Europe was in 1054 in Ireland.
  • The first tornado ever recorded in North America was in 1521 in Mexico.
  • Matt Suter holds the record for being carried the longest distance by a tornado and live to tell about it. He was carried 1,300+ feet according to the National Weather Service.
  • The town of Codell, Kanas was hit by a tornado on the same exact date, three consecutive years in a row; May 20th 1916, 1917 and 1918.
  • The town of Tanner, Alabama was hit by two F5 tornadoes that occurred only 45 minutes apart.
  • Popular and dangerous Tornado myths are recirculated by the media every year resulting in unnecessary fatalities each year.
  • The first undisputed F5/EF5 tornado occurred on June 29th, 1764 in Woldegk, Germany.