VIDEO: Tornado damages 50 homes in China

A tornado is a narrow, rapidly spinning column of air around an intense low-pressure center that reaches the ground from cumulonimbus clouds, also known as storm clouds, according to the Met Office.

Tornadoes have a narrow width, usually up to 100 meters (328 feet), but the damage can be concentrated and severe.

As they develop, funnel-shaped clouds extend from the cloud’s base and when they reach the ground, a tornado is formed.

A tornado is a narrow, rapidly spinning column of air around an intense low-pressure center that reaches the ground from cumulonimbus clouds, also known as storm clouds, according to the Met Office.  Pictured, a tornado over a field

A tornado is a narrow, rapidly spinning column of air around an intense low-pressure center that reaches the ground from cumulonimbus clouds, also known as storm clouds, according to the Met Office. Pictured, a tornado over a field

Tornadoes can have wind speeds of up to 483 kilometers per hour (300 miles per hour) and when they hit the ground they can destroy trees and buildings in their path, throwing heavy objects like cars through the air like a Frisbee.

Tornadoes that occur over water are called a waterspout, and tornadoes that don’t hit the ground are called a funnel cloud.

The highest surface wind speed ever recorded of 486 kilometers per hour (302 miles per hour) is the result of the Oklahoma tornado outbreak in 1999.

The greatest distance a single tornado traveled was 352 kilometers (219 miles) from Ellington, Missouri to Princeton, Indiana, on March 18, 1925.

The most tornadoes in one year were recorded in 2004. There were 1,820.

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