A tornado in Wyoming, USA
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Tornado facts

1. Furthest distance

The greatest distance travelled by a tornado is 219 miles (352 km) from Ellington, Missouri to Princeton, Indiana on 18 March 1925.

2. The greatest number in 24 hours

The most tornadoes recorded in a 24-hour period is 175 on the 27-28th April 2011. 

3. How many per state?

The average annual number of tornadoes per state is:

4. Where do they form?

Most continents have regions with favourable conditions for tornado formation.

5. The greatest number in a month

The most tornadoes recorded in a single calendar month is 817 during April 2011 across the USA.

6. The most in a year

The most tornadoes during a single year is 1820 in 2004 across the USA.

7. The deadliest

The deadliest tornado was known as the ‘Tri-State tornado on 18th March 1925, which killed 695 people. This tornado al travelled the furthest distance.

8. The strongest wind speed

It is impossible to know the exact strongest wind speed as they are only directly recorded in weaker tornados before weather instruments are destroyed. Doppler radars can give some remotely sensed wind speeds although these are not always accurate. Despite this on 3rd May 1999 one was measured to reach 302mph the highest winds ever found on the earth’s surface. The most violent tornadoes have never been captured.

9. What is the costliest?

The costliest tornado was in Joplin, Missouri on 22nd May 2011 with an estimated cost of $2.8 billion in damage.