I was watching Twister for about the hundredth time this year, and I was just imagining what it would be like to actually see one of these monstrous beasts up close. I think my fascination about these acts of nature is that that are completely out of our hands and an act of God, Mother nature, the gods; whomever felt like ripping the exterior shudders of the houses that day.
Tornado's are violent, dangerous, "rotating column of air which is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud."
The majority of tornado's reach wind speeds of up to 110 mph, and travel many miles before ever dissipating. When these storms reach speeds of up to 300mph, I suggest looking for another place to hide besides your bathtub because these types of tornado's will stay on the ground for dozens of miles.
Most of the Tornado's on record have occurred in the United States, although they do commonly occur in southern Canada, south-central and eastern Asia, east-central South America, Southern Africa, northwestern and southeast Europe, western and southeastern Australia, and New Zealand.
"The most extreme tornado in recorded history was the Tri-State Tornado, which roared through parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana on March 18, 1925. It was likely an F5, though tornadoes were not ranked on any scale in that era. It holds records for longest path length (219 miles, 352 km), longest duration (about 3.5 hours), and fastest forward speed for a significant tornado (73 mph, 117 km/h) anywhere on earth. In addition, it is the deadliest single tornado in United States history (695 dead). It was also the second costliest tornado in history at the time, but has been surpassed by several others non-normalized. When costs are normalized for wealth and inflation, it still ranks third today." 
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