- from Tornadoes
They’ve been called many things: winds of death, nature’s most terrifying spectacles, random killers, and the most violent creatures of the atmosphere.
They’ve been compared to animals: “a huge elephant trunk searching for food” or “a monstrous, writhing snake biting the ground.” They’ve been likened to “the snapping of a bull whip” and “a giant column surrounded by silvery ribbons.” In more horror-movie terms, they’ve also been described as “a delicate dance of ghosts” and “the breath of the Death Angel.” Someone once called one “a demon of death, with the roar of a thousand trains.”
They swirl, twirl, and whirl in a chaotic, free-spirited dance. A tornado’s energy equals the energy of an atomic bomb. Tearing through towns and cities, they can destroy every house on one side of a street and leave the houses on the other side untouched. They can flatten buildings and hurl cattle across state lines. Tornadoes can level small towns in seconds, leaving thousands homeless, many dead, and causing damage in the multimillions of dollars.
Tornadoes command our attention, and even our respect. Take a look—from a safe distance—at the storm that packs the swiftest and strongest winds of any storm on Earth.