How Long Do Tornadoes Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10 Seconds To More Than An Hour

Natural disasters happen all the time. It is natural and there are only minimal ways to prevent them from happening, but, one can always protect themselves from such high levels of dangers by following some precautions. Every human should know and understand the impact a natural disaster causes, and how they wreak havoc on the world. An event that destroys thousands of people and their lives is considered a disaster. In both natural and man-made disasters, thousands of miles of land are destroyed and everybody who lives on it.

Some get severely injured, some die, while some live yet lose almost everything, and everybody the person loves. Some disasters cause minimal danger, while some cause severe danger. One disaster, that causes a medium to high level of danger and carnage, is tornadoes. Vertical funnels of air, that keep spinning in a rapid motion form tornadoes.

Normally, tornadoes spin at a speed of 250 miles per hour and when a tornado approaches, it clears a pathway for about a mile and the tornado can be about 50 miles high, which makes the people who look at it think it goes beyond the sky.

How Long Do Tornadoes Last

How Long Do Tornadoes Last?

All about tornadoesTime
The minimum duration a tornado has lasted in the world5 to 6 seconds
The maximum duration a tornado has lasted to date3 1/2 hours
The average duration of a tornado normally lasts5 to 10 minutes

Tornadoes are also known as twisters and they are born when thunderstorms are formed and when tornadoes strike, hail comes along with them. The word “tornado” is derived from the Latin word “tonare”, and the Spanish word “tornado”, which means “to thunder” and “to have torn”. Thunderstorms are more commonly called twisters, or sometimes in the more colloquial term, cyclones.

Thunderstorms called supercells, which are bigger than normal thunderstorms are responsible for causing the tornadoes that are the most destructive. There are many things to learn about tornadoes, like how they are formed, how long they last, and where they occur the most.

Tornadoes happen all over the world, but more than thousands of tornadoes occur in the US. The highest number of tornadoes are observed in areas like South Dakota, Oklahoma, Northern Texas, Eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, and some parts of the USA.

Though tornadoes form all over the world, the tornadoes that occur in this region are the most powerful ones. These tornadoes kill almost 80 to 100 people every time they strike, and more than 1500 people get injured.

Why Do Tornadoes Last That Long?

When a thunderstorm strikes, hail in the size of baseballs follows along with the thunderstorms. When a thunderstorm forms, the sky turns dark, grey and black storms gather. After the thunderstorm peaks, the wind shapes into a funnel and hits the ground.

The sound of a thunderstorm cause is deafening and anything that is in the path of a tornado gets torn up. Even houses and buildings built with great foundations break down like they are made up of tinder.

Some other tornadoes are called waterspouts, which form over the water and they are weaker than normal tornadoes. After they are formed, they move inland and become actual tornadoes.

Other than waterspouts, dust devils and fire tornadoes are the other forms of tornadoes, which are smaller than normal tornadoes. A tornado is colorless, but the dust it picks up colors the tornado. Dust devils are majorly made up of the dust and dirt they pick up on their way and fire tornadoes are formed when wildfire meets the air.


Strong tornadoes happen due to heavy thunderstorms, especially supercells. The other reasons also include the formation of very humid air below cloud base. There is no definite season for the formation of tornadoes, and the sound they made includes the sound of the breaking trees and houses.

Tornadoes, unlike storms, are quick. They begin out of nowhere and end very fast.

The minimal duration a tornado lasts, whether big or small, is around 5 to 10 seconds, or minutes. Sometimes, tornadoes can even last for hours. According to sources, the longest tornado that has ever been recorded is about three and a half hours. The average duration of a tornado lasts is about 5 to 10 minutes, and after that, the tornado dies down slowly.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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